Ireland’s green economy could spawn 10,000 jobs by 2015 – Bruton

23 Nov 2012

The clean room at Irish solar cell company SolarPrint, whose facility in based in Sandyford, Co Dublin

The Irish Government has today published its policy statement on the growth of Ireland’s green economy, with a particular focus on creating up to 10,000 jobs by 2015 if actions are taken in areas such as connecting more renewables to the grid and luring more green financial services companies to Ireland.

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, TD, announced details of Delivering our Green Potential this morning at the offices of SolarPrint, a Dublin company that is developing photovoltaic (PV) energy technologies.

The company, which was founded in 2008 by Dr Mazhar Bari, Andre Fernon and Roy Horgan, has pioneered a new type of solar cell technology to convert light from any source into energy. SolarPrint develops dye-sensitised solar cells, a printable solar cell technology that has the potential to be used to power wireless sensors/batteries and also to harvest energy in buildings using wireless sensors.

Green jobs

The policy document outlines the Government’s ambition for growth and job creation in the sectors that make up the green economy under the Action Plan for Jobs.

With the green economy estimated to be worth more than US$5trn globally, the Government is estimating that up to 10,000 green collar jobs could be created in Ireland by 2015.

To help realise this job-creation potential, the Government has set out a number of actions, including the aim of connecting at least 200MW of new renewable generation to the grid each year. It’s also aiming to introduce legislation to provide for a new offshore licensing and permitting regime.

The Government also wants to introduce a Pay As You Save scheme to replace the Better Energy Homes scheme from 2014.

Enterprise Ireland will be working with indigenous companies to identify and develop export opportunities for green goods and services, while IDA Ireland will be looking to attract more green financial services companies to Ireland.

Growing Ireland’s green tourism sector is another target, as well as prioritising R&D in areas such as marine renewable energy, smart grids and smart cities.

Identifying opportunities

Bruton is also setting up an industry-focused committee to identify emerging opportunities for Ireland in the green economy. This committee will involve representatives of private industry, as well as other stakeholders.

Speaking this morning, Bruton said the green economy is a sector where Ireland has “major” potential for job creation in Ireland, due to the rapid growth of the sector globally, as well as the country’s natural resources.

“We also have cutting-edge companies, both indigenous and multinational, already operating in this sector, and a world-class research and development system. It is estimated that well over 10,000 extra jobs could be created over the next number of years, and we are determined to act decisively across Government to ensure that the proper measures are put in place to realise this potential,” he said.

Bruton said the Government would be targeting growth across sectors such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, financial services, agriculture, tourism, waste and water management, green products and services and low-carbon transport.

“We are putting in place the proper supports through our research and development systems to ensure that we can create not only the companies that will create jobs in this decade but also the businesses that will create the jobs we need in the 2020s,” he said.

On the morning of 25 January 2013, Silicon Republic, in association with the Green IFSC, will host the Green Growth Forum 2013, where high-profile international keynotes will be joined by local experts and leaders in finance, technology and policy, and take part in mediated panel discussions. The theme of the forum is: Fostering and Financing Green Innovation.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic