Bruton promises 10,000 green economy jobs
THE Government is promising to create up to 10,000 new jobs in the "green economy" over the next three years.
Plans include building more wind farms, insulating draughty houses, green tourism and the development of energy-efficient products.
The Government also hopes the International Financial Services Centre in Dublin will provide more professional services to green companies worldwide.
Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said there was major potential for jobs in the green economy, with local and international companies already operating here. At least 18,750 people are employed in the green economy in Ireland.
"It is estimated that well over 10,000 extra jobs could be created, and we are determined to realise this potential," he said.
The Government has an overall target of creating 100,000 new jobs by 2016, but the unemployment rate remains high at 14.8pc, with 434,200 people on the Live Register.
Under the Government's new policy statement, there is a commitment to introduce legislation to make it easier to set up offshore wind farms.
There will also be a new "Pay As You Save" scheme allowing people to pay off the cost of improving the energy efficiency of their homes through the savings they make on their electricity bills.
The policy statement said Ireland had natural assets such as clean air and water, consistent wind and ocean resources that other countries did not.
It could also reduce our annual €6bn bill for importing oil and gas, which leaves consumers vulnerable to price hikes.
The Government and Dublin City University are also developing a site in Glasnevin into an Innovation Campus where research into energy-efficient technology will take place.
But Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said the Government had not missed a single chance to let the "green economic opportunity" go by.
"It is boasting it wants 200 megawatts of new renewable power a year but so far this year only 107 megawatts of new clean power has been introduced," he said.