The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) called on businesses to avail of enterprise opportunities in Ireland’s sustainable energy sector with a projected value of €2.5 billion per annum by 2020.
This is according to a new report launched by the Authority at an event in Dublin today. The report, Ireland’s Sustainable Energy Supply Chain Opportunity, which was carried out in consultation with the enterprise agencies: Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and Forfás, is the first to examine in detail how well the Irish supply chain is positioned to capture new business arising from expected investment in energy efficient and renewable energy products and services required to meet energy targets for 2020.
The report estimates that Ireland is currently spending €1.5 billion per annum on sustainable energy solutions, supporting 18,000 jobs. Most of the increased expenditure over the next six years, which can support up to 30,000 jobs, is expected to come from the manufacturing and construction sectors, where the capacity to upscale is readily available with a qualified workforce.
Speaking at the launch, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Mr Pat Rabbitte, T.D. said: “Ireland is focussed on seeking cost efficient contributions to the decarbonisation of the economy. The Green Paper creates a forum for discussion on this and on how we will expand our sustainable energy markets to 2020 and beyond. As the sustainable energy transition continues to gather momentum, Ireland must position itself to capture the economic benefits available. This requires diverse skillsets, as well as technology-specific knowledge, characteristics that Ireland’s flexible and well educated workforce is ready to provide.”
“Government is committed to Ireland meeting its energy targets by 2020 and the Green Paper creates a forum for discussion around this and how we will expand our sustainable energy markets to 2020 and beyond. As the sustainable energy transition continues to gather momentum, Ireland must position itself to capture the economic benefits available. This requires diverse skillsets, as well as technology-specific knowledge characteristics that Ireland’s flexible and well educated workforce is ready to provide.”
In addition to the requirements to meet Ireland’s sustainable energy targets, there are further business opportunities in EU and international markets, with the EU market estimated to be 70 times that of Ireland. As a clean energy location, with a more diverse and secure energy supply, together with active supply chains, Ireland has the opportunity to attract further Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in this area.
Commenting, Dr Brian Motherway, Chief Executive of SEAI, said: “A coordinated approach to supporting sustainable energy supply chains will promote economic growth and create thousands of jobs in Ireland. For this reason SEAI is working closely with the enterprise agencies to ensure Ireland can maximise the business opportunities available as well as improving our energy security and cost competitiveness.“
Barry O’Leary, Chief Executive of IDA Ireland said: “Sustainable energy is the next big sector for Ireland. The potential in the EU and further afield gives Ireland yet another reason for foreign companies to locate here. Ireland has a great track record in attracting overseas investment and our strengths in the sustainable energy sector should significantly add to this.“
Commenting, Julie Sinnamon, Chief Executive of Enterprise Ireland said: “ Export growth related to sustainable energy products and services has increased significantly in the last few years, with sustainable energy exports now over €270 million per annum. We are excited about the growth potential of this market because we know Ireland has skills, expertise and ICT capabilities that will enable us to achieve great things in EU and international markets.”