In response to specific questions raised:
|1||Do you, or your family members, own/direct or otherwise have a pecuniary interest in a wind farm or related company?||NO|
|2||Have you ever attended a pre-planning meeting between a local authority and wind farm promoter?||NO|
|3||How close to a wind farm would you live?
For this question assume a wind farm of 5 turbines each 125m height and select from the options (i) doesn’t matter next door is fine; (ii) must be at least 500m away; (iii) must be at least 750m away; (iv) must be at least 1km away; (v) must be at least 1.25km away; or (vi) must be at least 2km away.
(vi) must be at least 2km away
|4||Can you clarify your call for a moratorium on wind farms?
(i.e. the moratorium should remain in place until?)
Can you advise whether your position on wind farms is contradicted by the Right2Change principles in relation to (i) Right2SustainableEnvironment and (ii) Right2NationalResources?
|Moratorium would remain in place until alternative renewable sources would be developed such as biomass and at that point I would envisage that there would be no need for any further onshore wind farms.
I don’t see any conflict with any R2C policies.
|5||If elected will you support Donegal County Councillors variation no.2 on wind farm planning and make your support of or participation in a government conditional on the Minister for Environment dropping his opposition to variation no.2 and withdrawing his section 31 direction? This can be achieved if the Minister withdraws opposition to the high court case: Campbell -v- Minister for the Environment 2014/712 JR which is set for hearing in June 2016. If not, why not?||Myself and John Campbell, who initiated the judicial review of the Minister’s attempt to have the variation no.2 removed so I already do.
Note: To clarify Cllr. John Campbell is Deputy Pringle’s director of elections.
Each Candidate was also offered 750 word blog post, Thomas Pringle writes:
I published a document on my website on February 10th, 2016 that outlines my vision for the development of a biomass industry in County Donegal and Ireland and as part of the discussion in that document I have restated my call for a moratorium on onshore wind farms see http://www.thomaspringle.ie/2016/02/10/biomass-in-donegal-local-supply-and-local-demand-driving-job-creation/.
I did at one time believe that wind farms had a role to play in our energy mix and felt that while the turbines did not look great they were better looking than mobile phone masts. But as I looked at it and saw more and more how the wind industry is plowing on, encroaching on people’s lives and impacting directly on them and becoming more and more industrial I feel that they are not worth the negative impacts that they have.
There are a number of reasons for this, I believe that our renewable energy policy has been overly focused on wind farms to the detriment of other options that would provide more rural sustainable jobs and not have as big an impact on people’s quality of life.
Wind farms are a very efficient way of transferring wealth to already wealthy individuals who have the resources to invest in farms and can then reap the rewards and provide little benefit to the communities that have to receive them. Through the PSO we heavily subsidise the wind industry and in the future we will see our energy bills increasing significantly to further subsidise the sector.
Regardless of how much wind energy we produce we will need the identical amount of stand-by traditional generation in order to compensate for the times that the wind does not blow, this makes absolutely no sense.The complete reluctance of the supposed regulator (dept of the environment) to deal with the issue of set back and shadow flicker shows how influential the wind farm lobby is and how much they have the ear of government.
Finally I believe that we can develop better alternative energy sources that will do as much if not more to protect the environment and reduce our emissions in this state but will only be able to achieve that when the total reliance through our energy policy on onshore wind energy is removed.