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  • High Court Challenge to National Renewable Energy Action Plan

    Pat Swords is a name that could become a name synonymous with wind farm development in this country in the coming weeks.  Mr. Swords, a chemical engineer and lay litigant has taken a High Court case against the Department of Energy, Communications and Natural Resources which could potentially have significant implications for wind farm development in the country.

    Mr. Swords is seeking to have the National Renewable Energy Action Plan annulled.  He argues that the State has shown bias in favour of wind energy over other forms of renewable technology and, furthermore, that the State has breached European law by adopting plans without considering the views of the public.

    Essentially Mr. Swords is relying on the terms of the Aarhus Convention which enshrines public participation in decision making when all options are open rather than presenting a fait accompli to the public where they have no real input. His argument is that proper consultation of the NEAP was not carried out.

    Wind TurbineMr. Swords has some standing as he already obtained a ruling from the UN’s Aarhus Compliance Committee that Ireland had failed to give its residents a proper say in the National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP). They determined that there was insufficient information to inform a reasoned decision and insufficient time given to deliberate and protest if necessary.  He has brought this ruling to the High Court.

    The State disputed Mr Swords claims arguing that the Aarhus Convention doesn’t apply as it had not been ratified at the time the NREAP was accepted by the European Commission in 2010. This was rejected by the Court on the basis that while Ireland did not ratify the Aarhus Convention until 2012, the European Union had ratified it in 2005. The Convention has now been ratified by Ireland.

    If Mr. Swords is successful it could mean that the preparation of the NREAP will have to undertaken again, thus resulting in huge delays for those committed to large-scale windfarm development in the country, of which there are many.

    Published on November 19, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Green Energy;

5 Responses to “High Court Challenge to National Renewable Energy Action Plan”

  1. Brian Keogh said on

    Great news.

  2. this is brilliant news..yes the public are being completely ignored re wind farm developement…im from westmeath and all those wind farm companies want to do is destroy our beautiful quiet lake county..

  3. Congratulations to Mr Pat Swords for taking his government to task on their disrespect for the law. It is a first and welcome step in the opening of a national and international debate on the pros and con of wind energy.
    This debate never took place. Wind energy was simply imposed upon Europeans, and it turns out it may be the biggest mistake democratic politicians ever made.
    So yes, let’s force our governments to weigh its pros and cons publicly before embarking on this perilous road, one that led countries like Spain or Greece to more ruin, and German industries to contemplate their relocation abroad.

  4. I am delighted with Pat Swords efforts. As a resident living close to a windfarm under development, we were totally kept in the dark.

  5. Peter Mandal said on

    Thankfully there are people like Pat Swords here to protect us from our Government, both elected and unelected.
    And the large scale wind developments is not t he only hairbrained scheme being pushed by an illinformed ‘public service’.
    But we cannot always rely on a knight in shining armour.
    We, as a people, need to take more responsibility for what is happening to us.

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