Wind farms are a relatively new feature to the Irish landscape and the number and
size of these are set to increase considerably in the coming decade as Ireland is
compelled to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol. Despite the
obvious global benefits of renewable energy there are adverse local impacts associated
with wind farms, which have to be considered.
There are various parties who have a direct or indirect role in the development of
the wind energy industry and they often have conflicting views and positions.
This thesis identifies these main stakeholders and examines how they interact
within the present regulatory framework for planning and energy. It then examines the
difficulties these parties have experienced with these policies and goes on to suggest
possible modifications to the current system. If implemented, these would help reduce
some of the development constraints the industry has already witnessed.