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Archive for April, 2017

I-SEM: Good news for Wind Energy Generators and their Intermediaries

20th April 2017

With over 100 approved Intermediary arrangements currently established under the Irish wholesale electricity market (the Single Electricity Market, or SEM), there has been some expectation regarding the changes to these agreements that the new I-SEM (Integrated Single Energy Market) may introduce.

Although existing intermediaries will be required to take steps to transfer the registration of their Generators from SEM into I-SEM, the good news is that the SEM Regulators Authority has decided to maintain the intermediary arrangements in I-SEM. You will find the complete Decision Paper from the SEM committee here.

Both this recent decision and the extension of the I-SEM go-live date have been welcome announcements in an uncertain future for the Irish electricity market.

Uncertainty continues over delays on the update of Wind Farm Guidelines

14th April 2017

The Government has confirmed that the update to the Wind Farm Guidelines will be delayed once again, until the end of the year. Late last year, the Government already deferred the decision as a European Court ruling imposed a process of public consultation before the guidelines are issued.

The update to the 2006 Guidelines is controversial by nature, as it requires a revision of the lay down rules on how far wind turbines should be set back from residential dwellings, on noise aspects, as well as light and shadow “flicker” from the rotating blades. In this sense, residents currently feel unprotected as no minimum distance is set, and developers feel that the application of disproportionate measures will be in detriment of the development of Wind Energy in Ireland. IWEA’s call in the matter is for international standards to be applied and they propose to continue applying the 500m advisory distance.

This new delay creates more uncertainty for the sector. Even though Wind Turbines are not a risk to human health, annoyance associated with living near wind turbines is a complex phenomenon. However, these can often be mitigated. Clarity and an open dialogue between developers and the worried residents should be established, as well as leadership from the Government on the matter, to avoid further delays and continue developing the Wind Energy sector at a crucial time when the EU fines for not meeting the 2020 targets are looming over us.