One of the wind energy companies involved in building turbines in Kildare has accused the Irish Thoroughbred Bredders Association (ITBA) of showing a “blatant disregard” for the wide range of people who stand to benefit from exporting wind energy.
Element Power, the company behind wind energy project, Greenwire, stressedthere are 1,300 wind turbines in Ireland sustaining 3,400 jobs and co-exist harmoniously with neighbours, agriculture and wildlife.
“It is quite disappointing that a sector which has benefitted from hundreds of millions of euro of Government support and incentives, should now seek to scupper a new export industry which can be developed at zero cost to the Irish taxpayer creating valuable employment and significant economic activity in the process. It actually displays a blatant disregard for the wide range of people, organisations and local authorities who stand to benefit from exporting wind energy”, said Tim Cowhig, CEO of Element Power Ireland.
He was responding to the launch of a campaign against the plans, backed by the ITBA, the Irish Jockey’s Association, the Irish Racehorse Association, and the Assocation of Irish Racehorse Owners as well as leading racing figures such as Ruby Walsh.
“To launch a campaign opposing investment, jobs and significant other community benefits without any evidence to back-up ‘concerns’ is a very serious and irresponsible step. Is the campaign based on innuendo and hearsay? Element Power is not aware of any direct link which shows wind turbines negatively impact on horses, humans or any other animal for that matter”, said Mr Cowhig. The company said the first onshore wind farm in Britain was developed on the site of a stud farm.
The horse industry cites risks to safety of horses and handlers, and reduced attractiveness of Ireland for foreign investment as the reasons behind its campiagn. It’s submission to the Renewable Energy Export Framework highlighted the value of the industry, at nearly €1.1 billion.