To Catch the Wind: The Potential for Community Ownership of Wind Farms in Ireland

To Catch The Wind

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A publication of the Renewable Energy Partnership, June 2004
Ireland has one of the most promising, untapped energy resources to be found anywhere in Europe – wind energy. It is one of the few sectors in which the West of Ireland in particular has a major competitive advantage over almost every other region in Europe.

It was for this reason that, early in 2002, the Renewable Energy Partnership (REP), which consists of Brí Nua Community Wind Energy Group, Mayo Community Wind Energy Group and the Western Development Commission (WDC), began to research the potential for communities in the region to benefit from the establishment of wind farms. The REP appointed a firm of consultants, CSA Group Ltd, to prepare a study entitled ‘Community Ownership of Wind Farm Projects’.

The REP then, working closely with the consultants, prepared this practical guide and accompanying CD Rom. Its objectives were to:

  • determine whether Irish communities should become involved in wind energy development and, if so, how best they might do so
  • provide communities, local government and interested groups with an understanding of the changes which need to be put in place so that communities could own successful wind farms
  • assess whether it is feasible to set up community organisations to enable as many people as possible to invest in wind farm development
  • assist community groups throughout Ireland to create their own investment vehicles for wind farm project development.

Table of Contents
How to Use this Guide
Potential for Community Ownership of Wind Farms – Key Recommendations
PDF Document
PART I – A Profile of Community Investment in Wind Farms
1 Why Ireland Needs more Wind Farms
PDF Document
2 How Communities have already Invested in Wind Energy Projects PDF Document
3 Potential for Community Ownership of Wind Farms – Findings and Recommendations PDF Document
PART II – A Guide for Communities Participating in Wind Farm Development
4 Becoming Involved in Wind Farm Development
PDF Document
5 Establishing a Local Group to Develop or Invest in a Wind Farm Project PDF Document
6 Assessing Wind Farm Developer’s Projects PDF Document
7 The Wind Farm Development Process PDF Document
Glossary of Terms
Appendix I Example of possible criteria for prioritising grid access
Appendix II The rate of return required by credit union borrowers
Appendix III Terminology for calculating return on investment

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Download the entire document as one file

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