9 - Our Rural Economy
Chapter 9 - Our Rural Economy
Rural areas across the county are facing many challenges, ranging from urban generated pressures in some areas to a declining and aging population in other areas, coupled with lack of access to infrastructure and new technologies. Other pressures include exploitation of natural resources ranging from the extractive / quarrying industry to diversification of uses on former cut-away bogs, energy production and distribution – wind farms, solar farms, strategic energy infrastructure – expansion of sub-stations, new transmission lines, battery storage facilities. These uses, although in some cases necessary, represent competing demands on the rural resource and while there are economic opportunities associated with these it requires very careful management.
A key challenge is to ensure that in planning for rural places, responses are uniquely tailored to recognise the balance required between managing urban generated demand in the most accessible rural areas (i.e., north of the county) whilst supporting the sustainable growth of rural communities and economies, including those facing decline (i.e., south of the county).
Traditional sectors such as agriculture, extractive industries, and forestry will be important in helping Kildare reach targets in relation to climate change and will play a vital role over the coming years and the period of this plan to help Ireland reach its climate targets particularly in relation to carbon storage, provision of renewable energy, reducing emissions, protection of water bodies and increasing biodiversity. Renewable energy production in the form of wind, solar, and biomass have to date been largely provided in rural areas and the location of future renewable energy production is likely to be met in rural areas