TravelWatch-Isle of Man windfarm information
TravelWatch-IOM is concerned about the potential adverse effect of Irish Sea wind farm developments on shipping services to/from the Isle of Man and particularly on passenger services.
CELTIC ARRAY WIND FARMS
Plans for the three proposed Celtic Array Wind Farms have been withdrawn
We believe that the long-established direct routes between the Island and Heysham/Liverpool should be maintained. The main threat to these routes being the Celtic Array NE development which under proposals current in summer 2012 would require deviations to both.
We are also concerned at any developments which might reduce the reliability of services. These might reduce bad weather routing options - leading to longer passage times and/or increased cancellations of ferry sailings.
In this context
We are therefore concerned at the potential over-development of the Irish Sea to the detriment of Manx interests - and for which the Island obtains no compensating benefit whatsoever.
What influence does IOM have over Windfarms?
All the current and proposed Irish Sea wind farm developments are outside IOM territorial waters - and no significant benefits to IOM have been identified - all the construction is being done from UK bases. All the power generated will go into the UK.
There is some possibility that a small number of maintenance jobs could be based on the Island once the wind farms are commissioned - but this will be many years ahead and is by no means certain.
The developments do not have to to be approved by the IOM Government - although they have many concerns about them. The developers - both Celtic Array and DONG Energy - have seen the benefit of including the Island in their consultation processes, although they are not legally required so to do. How far IOM concerns will be taken into account remains to be seen as plans develop.
Public Opinion is therefore very important - we would encourage as many people as possible to attend public consultations and express their concerns - both verbally and on any response forms.
TravelWatch is working with IOM Government Departments, the Chamber of Commerce and the Steam Packet Company to keep these issues in the public domain. We are also working with a number of UK based organisations to enlist their help in protecting our ferry routes.
How can this happen?
Common sense suggests that wind farms should not be built in positions which obstruct major sea routes. Until recently this appears to have been the practice - but the latest planned projects appear to be ignoring this principle.
The Crown Estate, who manage the UK sea bed are taking a pro-active approach towards the development of off shore wind farms. Further details are on their website.
An initiative of the Crown Estate is the Offshore Wind Developers Forum The forum's purpose is to bring together Government and industry to find solutions to barriers which have the potential to impede the viability and deliverability of offshore wind in the UK and also to maximise benefits to the UK economy.
The (UK) Department of Energy & Climate Change is committed to increasing the proportion of energy used from renewable sources.
The EU 2009 Renewable Energy Directive sets a target for UK to achieve 15% of its energy requirements from renewable sources by 2020.
The Renewable Energy Roadmap sets out a programme of actions to tackle the barriers to renewables deployment.
Details of other organisations and trade associations are shown on the FURTHER SOURCES page