The wind-energy sector, which already employs 3,400 people in Ireland and expects to invest €4.7bn between now and 2020, says 60pc of its members will be seeking construction and engineering workers in the year ahead.
Dublin: 12.12.2013 05.00AM
The Scottish government has today announced it will be investing stg£1.14bn as part of a three-year plan to address climate change, with the country aiming to decarbonise its power sector by 2030 as well as ramping up its focus on the offshore wind sector.
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond also announced that Scotland has a target to cut carbon emissions from electricity generation by more than four-fifths by 2030, with the country set to target the market for offshore wind.
The Scottish government today published a draft Report on Proposals and Policies (RPP2) in which it outlines the country's climate change strategies.
In its new plan, Scotland has set a new decarbonisation target to cut carbon emissions from electricity generation by more than four-fifths by 2030.
It is also committing to deliver the equivalent of at least 100pc of gross electricity consumption from renewables by 2020.
As part of its energy-efficiency strategies, Scotland is introducing a new national retrofit programme targeted at older and colder homes. It is also putting stg£50m towards a fund to provide grants and loans for renewable energy measures to heat homes.
Scotland's Minister for Environment and Climate Change Paul Wheelhouse claimed today that the country is at the top of the European league table for emissions reductions.
"Our concerted action to tackle greenhouse gas emissions has seen Scotland achieve greater reductions in emissions than not only the UK, but other nations recognised for their high ambition, such as Germany and Denmark," he said.
According to Wheelhouse, Scotland is more than halfway towards meeting its 2020 target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 42pc and remains on track to achieve this goal.
"But there is no room for complacency - that is why we are determined to do even more and must do so given the threat climate change places on our wildlife, our economy and our society," he said.
The draft RPP2 report will now be considered in the Scottish Parliament for 60 days, with a final report set to be published in the summer.
Meanwhile, First Minister Alex Salmond revealed at the Scottish Renewables-Scottish Enterprise Offshore Wind and Supply Chain Conference that a new memorandum of understanding has been signed between Highland & Islands Enterprise (HIE) and four ports in the region to support the development of Scotland's offshore wind sector.
The partnership will to help the ports attract a potential stg£100m of investment to the Highlands.
Salmond described offshore wind as having a "strong, vibrant future", with the plan being to install 10 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity in Scottish waters over the next decade.
"More sites are being scoped for deployment in the 2020s - alongside commercial wave and tidal generation - as grid and interconnection upgrades and storage are further developed," he said.
However, Salmond pointed to mixed messages from UK coalition ministers on energy policy, as well as uncertainty around electricity market reform, in addition to the lack of a decarbonisation target until at least 2016.
He said this was "undermining confidence and threatening investment" by the supply chain.