The Irish Wind Energy Association Autumn Conference 2016 "Powering Ireland" took place in the INEC in Killarney on the 6th October 2016. The conference provided an opportunity to discuss and debate the opportunities and challenges for the wind industry ahead in an effort to help Ireland deliver on its 2020 Renewable Electricity targets. The conference looked at some key areas that are necessary to facilitate this delivery, including the planning system, renewable energy support schemes and grid infrastructure.
The conference included a presentation by the Energy and Sustainability Manager for Microsoft, Ms Vanessa Miler-Fels, who described how large multinational corporations are driving demand for renewables globally through their corporate sustainability policies. She also described how renewables penetration in individual countries is a crucial factor in the decision making process for setting up operations globally. Our own Brian Keville gave a presentation on the current situation with regards challenges and uncertainties that exist in the planning process for wind farm developments as well as discussing the need for a new approach to community acceptance and providing a sense of community ownership related to proposed wind farm projects.