Benefits of Wind Energy

The development of renewable energy is a natural step in the evolution of locally generated electricity. Harvesting peat for electricity has brought significant economic gain for many areas of the Midlands over the years.

An integral part of our work with communities is the promotion of Community Benefit Funds associated with projects which have the potential to support the already brilliant work that individuals and groups are doing in their local areas to reinvigorate communities for decades to come. 

The Community Benefit Fund (CBF) for the Taurbeg project will continue from 2024, starting from €23,000 a year. The CBF will continue to be available to local community groups and will be increased year-on-year by 2% over the next nine years (provided the project secures planning). This fund has been a pillar of support for community groups, supporting sustainability initiatives that have a positive effect on collective wellbeing. 

Renewable Energy Support Scheme (RESS)

The development of renewable energy projects brings many societal, environmental, and economic benefits. The Irish Government requires that all renewable projects that are developed over the coming years invest a community benefit fund into the local area, which will bring significant opportunities for local communities.

The Moanvane Wind Farm will deliver a Community Benefit Fund in the region of €300,000 per year for the local community, or €4.5 million over the duration of the project.

As well as the Community Benefit Fund, the wind farm will also pay rates to Offaly County Council, and any roads that would be used during the construction of the project would be upgraded.

What can the fund be used for?

We are keenly aware that money on its own means nothing. What it does bring is potential. To maximise this potential, critical assessment and vision is needed.

As part of our consultation process, we would like to ask everyone to consider the needs of the local area and its people. Some of the questions that might warrant reflection are:

  • What challenges do people in the area face?
  • What are the community's strengths and how could they be improved?
  • What supports do local services need?
  • What issues will face the community over the coming decade?
  • Are there gaps in services?
  • How could investment be used to support local people?

Below are some examples of what has been considered in other areas in which we have worked and highlight could be achieved in your community:

 

  1. Direct benefit schemes, such as near neighbour payments
  2. Energy efficiency schemes for households
  3. Funding for local heritage initiatives
  4. Job creation and investment into local economy
  5. Funding for recreation projects, such as sports clubs and local amenities
  6. Support for local education schemes

We would be very interested in hearing what ideas you have on how this wind farm could deliver the most benefit to you and your local area.