WIND farmers from around the country will meet in Offaly tonight to discus the ongoing price drop of a unit bale of wind.
The Irish Wind Farmers Association (IWFA) has invited Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney and wind wholesalers across the country to address farmers and listen to their concerns.
IWFA wants the minister to work with them in seeking a solution to the current price plummet of €3.67 per 30 litre unit bale of wind.
Some farmers say maintenance costs of wind turbines can cost as much as €4,000 every year.
“This year’s big storm destroyed four of my turbines,” said county Cavan wind farmer Paddy Dunne. “The government has done nothing to help me or anyone else in this line of work. I’ve had to remortgage the house in order to pay for the air-tight plastic wrapping for the bales. What happens if we have no more storms this year? Huh? Am I supposed to pull the wind out of my arse?”
Farmers are seeking subsidies from the EU and the Irish government which would see the cost of production covered until next year.
Ireland’s largest export market for wind is Dubai where the unit cost per bale can reach in excess of €9.78. It is estimated the country alone spends €400bn on wind every year.
“Irish wind has a reputation for being clean and fresh, and that’s why air-conditioning companies in hot countries like Dubai love it,” added Dunne. “If we cannot meet production targets then we could lose our business abroad to our competitors in the UK.”
Britain is the largest wind producing country in the world, but due to a sudden rise in pollution levels this year it is slowly losing exports to its counterparts here and on the continent.
Just a joke