The Mysterious Case of the Wind-Powered Christmas Tree

Action Renewables is a joint venture between the DETI and Viridian to stimulate awareness and discussion of renewable energy technologies.

In 2004 they had an excellent plan to help raise awareness – power the lights of the Belfast City Hall Christmas tree using a wind-powered generator.

Everyone seems to have thought this was a good idea: the Council gets to show its committment to promoting renewable engergy, Action Renewables gets some excellent PR, and the public gets to see that renewable energy in action.

Unfortunately it seems that, much to the surprise of everyone else involved, Planning Services decided that, as the City Hall is a Listed Building, planning permission would be required for the temporary generator. And so, although the Council agreed in principle to the idea, it had to be shelved for a year to allow everyone to properly work through the details of the proposal.

However, I couldn’t find any record of this actually being brought back before the Council again this year, and so made a request to find out what had happened. The Council have confirmed that this wasn’t actually brought back before them this year, and have suggested contacting Action Renewables’ PR firm to find out what happened.

My suspicion is that this was simply forgotten about, so it’ll be interesting to see how they respond…

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