Sinn Féin Councillor Conor D. McGuinness has welcomed a commitment by Energia to consult with the local fishing industry before commencing any survey works off the West Waterford coastline. Energia Group have recently applied for a site investigation licence to carry out a preliminary survey regarding the possibility of locating an offshore wind energy farm in the Celtic Sea 5km-10km out to sea from Ceann Heilbhic.
“I called for comprehensive and ongoing consultation to be made a condition of granting a foreshore licence to Energia in my submission to the Marine Planning section. Energia have confirmed in correspondence to me that they will engage with local fishing representatives and port authorities before any survey works would begin.
“Survey vessels and equipment must not be allowed displace or disturb fishing boats or impact on fishing grounds. The views of the local fishing industry must be taken on board in the carrying out of the survey.
“Investing in renewable energy will be a key component in tackling climate change, however it is vital that renewable energy generation does not adversely impact the environment or hamper sustainable local economic activity such as inshore fisheries. Community consultation and careful planning must be the foundation on which we build Ireland’s renewable energy capability.