Energy and enterprise policies are vital, says SEAI
Business and Government should boost cooperation to improve Ireland's sustainable energy supply chain and meet global targets, a Government agency said yesterday.
Up to €1.6bn is being invested in technologies and services in the sector each year, with the figure set to soar to between €2.2bn and €2.9bn by 2020.
A report by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) says a combination of well-designed energy and enterprise policies and measures would ensure Ireland is well placed to gain major rewards from the transition to a sustainable energy future.
Chief executive Brian Motherway said while some firms are already capitalising here and across the world, Ireland must position itself to capture the economic benefits.
"Opportunities abound for companies to provide products and services from preliminary project stages such as feasibility studies, planning and permitting, to design, manufacture, installation, and finally quality assurance and operations and maintenance," he said.
"Diverse skillsets are required, as well as specialist technology-specific knowledge – characteristics that Ireland's flexible and well-educated workforce are ready to provide.
"As we develop as a green energy location, Ireland will add sustainable energy expertise and access to secure, clean energy to the list of attributes that have been so successful in attracting foreign companies."
Ireland's sustainable energy economy has soared in recent years with more than 250,000 homes undergoing energy efficiency upgrades and controversial plans for wind electricity generation to expand.
Mr Motherway said the Government's commitment to 2020 energy efficiency, renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction targets, and longer-term goals for deep decarbonisation of Europe by 2050, will continue to expand Irish markets for sustainable energy technologies and services.
"The EU market, estimated at between €155bn and €190bn per annum, provides further incentive to develop sustainable energy supply chains here to enable Irish companies to export skills and expertise across the EU and further afield," he added.