Investment needed to meet Ireland’s energy efficiency and renewables target will help create a supply chain opportunity worth €2.5 billion (£2bn) a year by the end of the decade, a new report claims.
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) suggests most of the increased expenditure, which could support up to 30,000 jobs, is expected to come from the manufacturing and construction sectors.
Ireland currently spends around €1.5 billion (£1.2bn) every year on sustainable energy solutions, supporting 18,000 jobs, with exports of renewable energy technologies said to have more than trebled between 2010 and 2012 to over €100 million (£79.8m).
Exports of energy efficiency-related products also rose to more than €170 million (£135.7m) in 2012, with most of the growth focused on thermal insulation products and energy-efficient lighting.
Pat Rabbitte, Ireland’s Energy Minister said: “Ireland is focused on seeking cost-efficient contributions to the decarbonisation of the economy.
“As the sustainable energy transition continues to gather momentum, Ireland must position itself to capture the economic benefits available. This requires diverse skill sets as well as technology-specific knowledge, characteristics that Ireland’s flexible and well educated workforce is ready to provide.”
Ireland has a binding target of generating 16% of energy from renewable sources by 2020.