Friday 26 April 2013

Greens Express Support for New Wind Turbine

Lagan Valley Greens have issued a statement in support of renewable power generation, following concerns raised by Ravernet residents at a proposed new wind turbine:

The Green Party believes that renewable energy generation is vital to the future of Northern Ireland. Due to the increasing scarcity of fossil fuel reserves, a worldwide energy crisis is a very real possibility within the lifetime of a child born today. Fossil fuel generation also carries with it human health and environmental risks, as became frighteningly clear during the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

Locally, the combustion of fossil fuels to generate heat and energy has created its own problems. On 6th March 2013, the Guardian reported that Belfast received a maximum pollution index of 10/10 for air pollution relating to these sources.

Robust planning is vital when choosing a site for a renewable energy generator of any kind. The Green Party's definition of environment is the human environment - the everyday life and world of people. Issues such as housing, welfare reform and provision for the elderly and vulnerable are of paramount importance to us. We are keen that the impact on people near to any proposed plant be minimised where possible.

Notwithstanding necessary transport links, access to the energy grid and other required infrastructure, we believe any plant should, ideally, be situated far enough from the community that local residents need not be aware of its existence.

Due to its proposed size, it is likely that the Ravernet wind turbine will be visible to some of the local community. Its proposed location, however, seems remote enough that noise pollution will not be a major problem. When compared with the pollution and effluent generated by power stations such as Ballylumford, and the proposed “fracking” that may soon be taking place in Ireland, perhaps even in Lagan Valley, these concerns do not seem to be on the same scale.

Finally, there are enormous benefits offered by the Green economy. These new technologies employ large numbers of people with a wide variety of skills, such as engineers, electricians and maintenance staff. A new wind turbine equates to new investment and more jobs in our local area. We believe that an investment in renewables is a sound economic decision as well as a socially conscious one. Regarding the Ravernet turbine, we remain hopeful for a resolution satisfactory to all parties.

No comments:

Post a Comment