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The windiest areas are in the west along the Atlantic seaboard and on higher ground throughout the country.  These are also the most sparsely populated and thus the least served by the National Grid (although Moneypoint, one of the largest stations (Coal Fired) is located on the Shannon estuary in the west).

However Ireland is not a huge country and does have a competent national grid operator with significant resources.  We do need more interconnectors to the UK and France etc. and a higher capacity high voltage east/west network to transmit the power from western wind farms to the more populated east.  However the Irish Sea is relatively shallow in most places and has huge potential for offshore farms not far from the main Dublin market, and the UK market.

I do think there will be popular resistance to wind farms in the most scenic areas and there is some risk to damage to the tourist industry.  But we are a long way from saturation point and there is also scope for smaller farms in more rural areas to meet much of the local demand.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jun 22nd, 2011 at 05:41:13 PM EST
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