Ireland’s wind sector could help create around 30,000 jobs by 2020 if the Government brings reforms in the industry.
That’s according to the Irish Wind Energy Association’s (IWEA) latest report, which states how the nation could benefit economically from renewable energy.
At its conference yesterday, the IWEA called on the Government to reconsider targets to achieve 6GW of wind power for export to the UK, along with 4GW of wind energy for the Irish market. It claims the two combined could create up to 18,400 jobs by 2020.
It also suggested the Government should develop a joint Irish-UK policy to help export at least 6GW of wind energy by 2020. It claims the UK needs 18GW of wind energy before 2020 and if Ireland can achieve the 6GW target the country can attract an investment of more than €18 billion (£14.5 billion) into the economy.
Kenneth Matthews, CEO of IWEA said: “Renewable energy exporting is a significant national opportunity that needs to be seized. Ireland must create new export-led growth and our policy paper is the first of its kind to clearly outline the framework needed to realise this potential.
“Ireland has the potential and resources to not only meet our own renewables targets but to assist other EU countries in meeting theirs. This could lead to significant job creation, research & development opportunities and greater investment.”
Another report earlier this year suggested Irish wind farm operators would need around €5 billion (£4 billion) of investment to meet its 2020 renewables target.