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Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo
 

News

 

Events

 

Sep 2015 right left

 
01

Stargazing at Ballintoy

Wednesday 2nd September
Meet at Ballintoy Harbour Carpark
Free

03
04

Bumbling with Bees

Saturday 5th September
Meet at Lower Stables car park, Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park
Free

Autumn Book Fair

Saturday 5th September
The Argory, Moy
Normal Admission, Members Free

06
07
08
09
10

Irish Whale and Dolphin Group Weekend

Friday 11th September
Copeland Bird Observatory
usual charges for CBO – membership (necessary for insurance purposes) together with the weekend fee which covers boat charges from and to Donaghadee (depart Friday evening and returning Sunday afternoon).

Heritage Open Day – Visit For Free

Saturday 12th September
Any National Trust Attraction
Free, donations welcome

13
14
15

Environment Ireland Conference 2015

Wednesday 16th September
Croke Park, Dublin
See website for details

Return to Source

Thursday 17th September
Meet at Drumbridge car park
Free

18

MCS Beachwatch

Saturday 19th September
Murlough NNR
No Cost

Portstewart Strand MCS Beachwatch

Saturday 19th September
Portstewart Strand
No Cost

Walk and Talk

Sunday 20th September
Divis and the Black Mountain
Free

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland – 1st Public Meeting

Monday 21st September
Duncairn Centre, Duncairn Avenue, Belfast BT14 6BP
Free

22
23
24
25

Fungi Foray

Saturday 26th September
Downhill Demesne and Hezlett House
Normal Admission, Members Free

Red Squirrel Day

Saturday 26th September
Mount Stewart
Normal Admission, Members Free

50 Things – Autumn Fun

Saturday 26th September
Castle Ward
Normal Admission, Members Free

27
28
29

Nature & Sports Euro Meet

Wednesday 30th September
Various, see programme for details
See website for details

   
 

Fermanagh Trust wind report 12 March 2012

Research by The Fermanagh Trust has found that communities in Northern Ireland are being financially disadvantaged by wind farm developments in comparison to the rest of the UK.  Other models of community benefit, such as community ownership, have also not been made available locally.

The report has implications for government and the onshore, wind industry – with some of the same companies operating and/or owning wind farms across the UK.

The research findings – the result of a three–month study which was supported by the Building Change Trust – found that the higher levels of payments into community funds in Great Britain have generally not been achieved at approved wind farms in Northern Ireland.

In Great Britain for example, amounts reaching and exceeding £2,000/MW, per annum have increasingly been seen. However, only one of the fourteen community funds in Northern Ireland identified by The Fermanagh’s Trust’s research was found to offer £2,000/MW per annum – this was a recent development which occurred during the lifetime of the research project, offered for a wind farm which has yet to be built.

Throughout the UK average levels of payments being paid into community funds have been found to be increasing through time but in Northern Ireland there appears to be a mixed picture. Whilst some wind farms have seen higher levels of payments in recent years, substantially low levels of payments of between £500–£1000 MW per annum are still being made into community funds for recently approved wind farms.

In relation to community ownership, there are numerous examples of wind farms where developers have taken very innovative approaches towards the provision of community benefits, and have incorporated community ownership into the development. In Northern Ireland, there are no instances of community ownership in a commercial wind farm development, or similar innovative approaches.

The report launch, which was attended by approximately 100 people, heard from representatives from frost–free ltd, a Scottish company that helps communities develop their own wind energy enterprises and helps them benefit from initiatives already proposed in their area.

Bill Acton from frost–free said: “It is important to unlock the potential for local communities to benefit from renewable energy projects. Communities, as well as private developers, must be incentivised to develop their own renewable energy projects or to engage with commercial projects in their area. The significance of the income that can be generated from such ventures has the real potential to create long term, sustainable income streams that will help many communities in the current financial climate.”

Graeme Dunwoody, Researcher with The Fermanagh Trust, said: “There are important recommendations in this report for government, local communities, local councils and the industry. For example; communities need good practice guidance, including a policy on community engagement and a toolkit on community benefits and a minimum payment should be offered by developers which is in line with the rest of the UK; and they should explore, where local communities want it, a form of community ownership.

“Local Councils should formally establish guidance protocols (based on good practice) which provide a framework for engagement by developers with the Councils and local communities and government should develop a public register of community benefits from wind farm projects similar to that currently being established by the Scottish Government.

“Government could also actively support local communities and their potential, positive role in implementing wind farm projects and the contribution they make in the development of a low carbon society. The implementation of this policy should address the need for active community involvement in shaping Northern Ireland’s community energy agenda. Policies ensuring effective support mechanisms need to be in place, such as a local energy assessment fund.”

Read the full report and summary document here.