With daily reminders of the drastic impact of global warming and climate change on our planet, and the rising costs of electricity and fossil fuels, the renewable energy debate has never been so timely. While our recent research for Wind Energy Ireland has shown that most of us believe that wind energy is an ideal, sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, there are still a lot of issues to be addressed. How can this source of renewable energy satisfy society, without causing too much destruction to local communities and enterprises? We are working with both University College Cork and the University of Exeter to better understand the implications. These academic institutions have composed two separate surveys, one focusing on ‘Offshore Wind Farms in Ireland,’ while the other concentrates on ‘Onshore Wind Farms in Ireland.’
The focal point of the ‘Onshore Wind Farm’ survey is to discover the impact wind energy projects have on local communities. This involves seeking individuals’ opinions, experiences, and feelings towards such developments. The ‘Offshore Wind Farms in Ireland’ survey primarily aims to gain a better understanding of coastal area residents’ views and preferences on offshore wind power and implementation policies, and the impact it will have on maritime activities. Results will be compiled and presented to government and non-governmental bodies, and academic papers will be published.