Bruton plan to get most from green economy

Fri, Nov 23, 2012, 00:00

Minister for Jobs and Enterprise Richard Bruton will launch a major green strategy which the Government says has the potential to create 10,000 new jobs over the next three years.

The green jobs initiative is a central part of the Government’s jobs strategy, and aims to ensure the State benefits to the fullest from the green economy.

The global estimate is that it is already worth more than €3.7 trillion, employs more than 30 million, and is projected to grow at 3.7 per cent per year over the coming years.

The document, Delivering our Green Potential, outlines the Government’s plans to develop green and sustainable jobs.

Pay as You Save

A central part of the initiative is the Pay as You Save scheme, which will be launched in 2014.

This programme, overseen by Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte, has set itself a target of retrofitting one million Irish homes by 2020 to bring down their energy costs.

The idea behind it is that energy companies will bear the upfront cost of improving insulation which the householders will pay through their utility bills for a number of years.

No figure has been given in the document for how this ambitious multibillion euro programme will be financed.

In a recent report on climate change targets, the National Economic and Social Council expressed some concern over whether that target would be reached. It pointed out that take-up for home insulation had fallen considerably.

National grid

Under the initiative the Government has promised to connect at least 200 megawatts of new renewable generation to the national grid each year.

Enterprise Ireland will also work with indigenous companies to identify and develop export opportunities for green goods and services.

There are also plans to attract more green financial service companies to Ireland and to set up a Green IFSC that would handle green and sustainable assets and investments.

In agriculture there is a commitment to support a sustainable approach through Food Harvest 2020.

The policy document also targets growth in green tourism; a widespread introduction of smart meters; the forming of “green clusters” of industry in certain centres; and a shift towards green and sustainable policies in the €14 billion annual public procurement budget.