A conference in Cork has been told that community ownership of wind farms may present a solution to the conflicts caused by such projects in rural areas and in towns and villages across the country.

The conference, at University College Cork, is being attended by more than 800 delegates from 40 countries.

Wind energy is one of the country's most abundant and valuable natural resources.

A quarter of our electricity is currently generated from wind and that is going to increase, with the Government pledging that three-quarters of our electricity will come from renewable sources by 2030.


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But many of the wind farms used to harvest that energy are a source of division and conflict in the rural communities where they are based.

Angela Dowd's home near Ballylongford in north Kerry is overlooked by nine wind turbines.

Ms Dowd, and neighbours like Ciara Flavin, feel their quality of life has suffered because of the proximity of the turbines to their homes.



The European Academy of Wind Energy is hosting a major conference at University College Cork this week.

One of the main organisers, research fellow at Marine and Renewable Energy Ireland Dr Cian Desmond, believes community ownership of wind farms may present a solution to the disputes caused by wind farms in rural areas.

Dr Cian Desmond believes community ownership of wind farms may present a solution to disputes

The conference will also examine emerging technologies, such as floating wind farms to harvest wind energy off shore.

But a solution to the difficulties caused by on-shore wind farms may be beyond the horizon for now.