The ability to rebuild Ireland’s economy, deliver regional development, create jobs and growth and ensure citizens’ well-being, as well as capturing the economic benefit of the country’s renewable energy resources, all require significant energy infrastructure investment. Public acceptability of these infrastructure projects represents a major challenge for project developers and building social acceptance and understanding of the need for new infrastructure is now critical. From communities’ perspectives, it is important that developers of energy projects conduct early, transparent engagement and consultation with local communities and incorporate community gain consideration into project planning and budgeting.

Planning for energy infrastructure

[caption id="attachment_16822" align="alignright" width="809"] Turbines are controversial but are essential for economic growth[/caption] Eolas magazine is organising a half-day seminar to examine the key issues around the subject of planning and community acceptance for energy projects. The event will take place in the Gibson Hotel in Dublin on Tuesday, 21 October from 9am until 1pm. This will include both project developers and those presenting the views of community groups on how community buy-in and support can be achieved. Some of the key issues the seminar will address will include:
  • The planning framework for energy infrastructure projects;
  • Building social support for energy projects;
  • Creating sustainable energy communities;
  • Best practice communication methods;
  • Developers’ approaches to stakeholder engagement: renewable energy, electricity and gas infrastructure; and
  • Community gain considerations.
This seminar will provide an opportunity for all those with a role or interest in any aspect of planning and developing energy projects to come together for discussion and debate. An expert speaker panel has been assembled comprising local and visiting speakers. Organisations taking part include AECOM, An Bord Pleanála, Bord Gáis Networks, Bord na Móna, Dublin Institute of Technology, EirGrid, ESB, Friends of the Earth, National Economic & Social Council, Queen’s University Belfast and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. The full programme for the event, delegate fees, details of the speaker panel and registration details are available online by clicking here or email