Market to supply sustainable energy firms to double by 2020, report says

Potential jobs boost of 12,000 in sector within six years, says SEAI

Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte: sustainable energy is “the next big opportunity for Irish enterprise”. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte: sustainable energy is “the next big opportunity for Irish enterprise”. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Thu, Jun 12, 2014, 01:00

Ireland must position itself as a centre of excellence for companies supplying Europe’s green energy market, estimated to be worth €155 billion by 2020, according to a report by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) .

The report, Ireland’s Sustainable Energy Supply Chain Opportunity, says the estimated €1.5 billion market in Ireland, for companies supplying the green energy industry, could almost double by 2020.

SEAI said this could boost job numbers in the sector from 18,000 to about 30,000 over the period. The report was launched yesterday by SEAI in conjunction with IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and the State economic adviser Forfás.

Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte said at the launch that sustainable energy is “the next big opportunity for Irish enterprise”. Irish exports in the sector stand at about €300 million, according to SEAI. The minister said the Government is to publish a new strategy to stimulate investment in the biofuels sector, and also said he has set up a group to promote offshore wind.

The report found 70 per cent of expected supply-chain expenditure by green energy companies will come in areas where Irish suppliers “are well, or very well positioned”. About €1 billion of the market annually will in future comprise energy efficiency related construction, where Ireland is well positioned, the report estimated.

“It’s a global opportunity, and a requirement for skills is at the heart of it. There is a chance here for the government to bring coherence to the sector,” said Brian Motherway, of SEAI.