80% of Irish people back wind farms

13 Feb 2023

Delegates at this year's Annual Wind Energy Conference will hear that four in five Irish people support wind farms while opposition to wind energy has fallen to just 5 per cent.

The Annual Wind Energy Ireland Conference, taking place today and tomorrow in the Clayton Burlington Hotel, is one of Ireland’s largest energy events. More than 500 delegates from Ireland, Europe and around the world will be attending to discuss how to accelerate the delivery of renewable energy in Ireland and to build a zero-carbon electricity system.  

It will be opened today by Minister for Heritage & Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan TD and tomorrow morning delegates will be addressed by Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan TD.

A copy of the agenda for the Annual Conference is available online here and a list of confirmed speakers is available here.


The polling, which was carried out for Wind Energy Ireland by Interactions Research, also found that 58 per cent would support the development of a wind farm in their local area and support generally for wind energy among people living in rural Ireland was at 85 per cent. Both of these figures are the highest since the tracking poll began in 2018.

In terms of the recognised benefits of wind power, 45 per cent of people ranked its number one benefit as cheaper electricity, followed by its role in reducing CO2 emissions (22 per cent) and the environment benefits (18 per cent).

Noel Cunniffe, CEO of Wind Energy Ireland, welcomed the survey results: “Wind energy is cheaper than fossil fuels, it is clean and it is increasingly popular among Irish people.

“Irish wind farms have helped to protect consumers from the worst effects of an energy crisis driven by our dependency on imported fossil fuels while also saving twice as much in carbon emissions as every other renewable energy technology combined.

“The best way out of this energy crisis is to accelerate the development of renewable energy, to ensure more of our power is provided here, at home, creating Irish jobs, supporting local communities and helping to push down prices.”

Offshore wind

The survey also revealed a growth in positive attitudes towards offshore wind with 83 per cent of those polled saying they would help with Ireland’s energy security. However, just 31 per cent felt Ireland was doing enough at present to develop our offshore wind capabilities.

Mr Cunniffe continued: “Irish people are increasingly aware of the need for greater energy independence and energy security. They know wind energy is critical to achieving this but they are rightly concerned that the plans and infrastructure to deliver offshore wind energy are not in place.

“We are not building new wind farms, on or offshore, at the pace we need them. The grid infrastructure and the planning system we need still are not in place. We need to build new wind farms faster than we have ever done before.

“Finding ways to do that will be the focus of our Annual Conference as we work together to drive Ireland’s energy revolution and accelerate to net-zero. The plans are in place but now we need action.”

This survey was commissioned by Wind Energy Ireland to measure and track perceptions and attitudes around wind energy amongst Irish adults. This year’s survey sampled a representative sample of 1,017 Irish adults together with a supplementary booster sample of 201 rural dwellers. Fieldwork took place between 23 November and 8 December 2022.