GALWAY, Ireland, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- The Irish government said Thursday it was trying to get ahead of widespread concerns over the country's wind energy objectives.
Irish Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte said there might be enough wind energy on the electrical grid to meet 40 percent of the country's annual energy needs by 2020.
He told delegates at a wind energy conference in Galway the industry was moving forward with best practices in mind.
He said Thursday there was no validity to the claims that local communities would be left out of the decision-making process nor is it accurate to say local communities won't benefit from wind energy development.
"It is not true that we will be exporting green energy at the expense of meeting our own mandatory domestic targets," he said.
Ireland since 2003 has installed approximately 150 wind farms with a total electricity capacity of 1,738 megawatts. The country is behind in its energy targets but said it could export some of its wind energy capacity to the United Kingdom.