Ireland's sustainable energy market will be worth €2.5 billion a year by 2020

12 June 2014

LONDON: The Irish market for sustainable energy goods and service will be worth €2.5 billion (US$ 3.4 billion) per annum by 2020, research conducted by the Sustainable Energy Association of Ireland (SEAI) has revealed.

The new report, Ireland’s Sustainable Energy Supply Chain Opportunity, is based on extensive consultations with the enterprise agencies: Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and Forfás, and is the first study to analyze prospective business opportunities within Ireland’s renewable energy industry.

At present the burgeoning industry supports 18,000 jobs, with annual spending on sustainble energy solutions standing at €1.5 billion (US$2 billion). However, the report’s authors anticipate that over the course of the next six years a further 30,000 jobs will be added as expenditure flows increase.

By 2020, it is expected that total expenditure on technologies and services in the Irish sustainable industry will to between €2.2 billion and €2.9 billion per year, with the SEAI noting that this implies a total annual value of approximately €2.5 billion.


“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, ” Julie Sinnamon, Chief Executive of Enterprise Ireland explained.

“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.”

The European Commission have acknowledged that for the EU to remain competitive, annual investment in the low carbon economy must be in the region of €155-190 billion (US$210-257 billion).

The Commission’s proposed target for renewable energy is 40% by 2030, and the SEAI study notes that several Irish renewable energy suppliers are currently tapping into the European market and “reaping the rewards”.

Ireland’s Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte, T.D., speaking at the launch of the report, used the opportunity to highlight Ireland’s Green Paper on Energy Policy, a new initiative which seeks to facilitate engagement on energy generation through a 10 week public consultation period.

“Ireland is focused on seeking cost efficient contributions to the decarbonization 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,” the Minister affirmed.

Ben Ferrari, Head of Partnerships at The Climate Group, commented: “It’s important to see this study in its global context. Worldwide the renewable energy industry is fuelling economic growth and supporting 6.5 million jobs, so for innovative entrepreneurs, the sector presents an immense opportunity.”

“With an enabling policy framework, Ireland could leverage this international interest for domestic gain. By investing in its abundant natural resources of wind and ocean energy, Ireland has strong potential to play a prominent role within the European market, which would not only create domestic employment, but would also contribute to a healthy export market.”


Image credit: Flickr/Lamoix

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