Community acceptance: an evaluation of onshore wind energy development in Ireland

Caitriona Strain, John Barry

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

442 Downloads (Pure)


Most of Ireland’s current renewable energy installed capacity is in the form of onshore wind energy, and it is accepted that it will continue to play a fundamental role. The Republic of Ireland has a renewable-energy target for electricity generation of 40% by 2020. This reflects EU and international obligations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate climate change. Ireland is particularly suited to generating electricity from onshore wind given its advantageous geographical location. Despite this, the country faces major challenges connecting wind farms to the national electricity grid, and is unlikely to meet its 2020 targets. This research conducted an evaluation of onshore wind-energy development in Ireland. It engaged with many literatures, particularly the social science literature on onshore wind energy, the literature on Irish national wind-energy policy, and socio-technical transitions work in relation to energy transitions. The study also combined the analysis of semi-structured interviews. The findings indicated that policy incoherence in the Irish state’s onshore wind-energy policy and poor community acceptance of local wind-energy projects are key factors inhibiting the development of onshore wind energy in Ireland. It was concluded that national government need to demonstrate greater leadership in developing coherent public policies that support local communities to become active stakeholders. An important contribution was the identification of a series of policy recommendations to improve coherence and community acceptance. This study also made an original contribution to a very small and recent body of knowledge using the socio-technical transitions approach to research the Irish low-carbon energy transition.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2017
EventWind Europe 2017 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 28 Nov 201730 Nov 2017


ConferenceWind Europe 2017
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Community acceptance: an evaluation of onshore wind energy development in Ireland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this