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84% of people surveyed in favour of Wind Energy use in Ireland

14 November, 2017

84% of adults in Ireland are in favour of wind power in Ireland according to a survey published today by the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA). The results of the survey, which was carried out by Interactions in October 2017, show 47% of Irish adults polled said they were are strongly in favour of wind power in Ireland while a further 38% favour it. Overall this is a 4% increase in favourable attitudes towards wind power compared with similar research in 2013.

IWEA commissioned the research to assess perceptions and attitudes around wind energy among adults in Ireland and explore many key areas including the perceived benefits of wind energy and renewable versus carbon based energy preferences.

Key findings of the survey include:
• 84% of people surveyed said were in favour of the use of wind energy in Ireland
• 70% would prefer to power their home with renewable energy over fossil fuels
• 45% of people surveyed would be in favour of a wind farm development in their area
• 25% said they were likely to consider visiting a wind farm in the future

Adam Ledwith, Head of Communications and Public Affairs with IWEA said “Wind is the world’s fastest growing renewable energy source and this survey clearly shows that the development of wind power is welcome and communities in Ireland want clean, renewable energy sources, including wind, to play an active role in powering Ireland’s future. In Ireland we currently have 200 operational wind farms which regularly power 60% of Ireland’s electricity needs. This is clean, reliable indigenous energy source generated in a country that otherwise relies on imports for 88% of its energy needs at an estimated cost of €15 million a day.

“The survey also shows that there is an overwhelming majority of people who would prefer to power their homes with renewable energy rather fossil fuels.  Renewable Energy is critical to Ireland’s long term economic growth and energy security and wind can rightfully play a central role in this. Ireland has a huge natural advantage to develop wind and other renewable energy sources, including solar and biomass, and we have the capability and capacity to be the 21st-century clean energy innovator of Europe.”

The survey also captured the perceived benefits of wind power among the public. Of those surveyed three quarters selected good for the environment and reduced CO2 emissions while fewer people, just over two in three, cited cheaper electricity. 

Mr. Ledwith continued “It is absolutely clear from this survey that the environment and air quality is front and centre of people’s mind when they consider the benefits of wind.  Four deaths per day in Ireland can be attributed to air pollution and wind power offers a clean source of renewable energy that produces no air or water pollution. Our energy use relates directly to the quality of air we breathe daily, and we believe the increased use of renewable energy will continue to off-set harmful emissions from fossil fuels, an operational 50MW wind farm off-sets the emission of harmful greenhouse gases, such as 74,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.”