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President looks to Denmark for lessons in green energy

Ireland could learn from the pioneering example of Denmark in developing green industries and energy, President Mary McAleese said today.

During the second leg of her three-day trip Mrs McAleese visited the Samsø Energy Academy, on an island off the Danish coast, which has a global reputation for its sustainable energy work.

The President learned how scientists were replacing oil and gas with renewable energy sources such as wind turbines, solar cells and biomass plants.

The community is known for its success in converting the island from fossil fuels to more sustainable forms of energy.

Mrs McAleese addressed students in the town of Århus, north-west of Copenhagen, on the theme of Small states in the new world order.

"As the world economy positions itself for recovery and as technology advances, sectors such as energy and environment-related industries will see fast growth," Mrs McAleese said.

"Ireland is now looking to attract investment and build our capacity in areas such as clean technology. In this we can learn from the example of Denmark and your pioneering progress in green industry and green energy."

Mrs McAleese said that as a small open economy Ireland, like Denmark, was particularly susceptible to movements in the global economy but was attempting to dig itself out of the economic crisis.

"Right now, Ireland is working hard to stabilise our public finances, improve competitiveness, create jobs and repair the banking system."

Mrs McAleese was also to attend a business dinner hosted by the Rector of Århus University with local and Irish people involved in science, innovation and renewable energies.

PA Media