Offshore wind farms could create 60,000 jobs

29 Apr 2010

The construction of wind farms offshore of Ireland and the UK has the potential to create an estimated 60,000 jobs over the coming decades. Irish companies need to act now to capitalise on this opportunity, according to the National Offshore Wind Association of Ireland (NOW Ireland) and Enterprise Ireland.

With more than €50bn set to be invested in Irish Sea and Celtic Sea projects in the next two decades, getting involved in the development of offshore wind energy could provide a major boost to Irish companies in the marine, construction, engineering and service industries.

In light of the opportunities in the space, Enterprise Ireland and NOW Ireland are co-hosting an information and networking event in Dublin next month, which is free of charge and open to all businesses interested in becoming part of the supply chain to the offshore wind-farm industry.

Speakers from the leading UK and Irish offshore wind developers will be present to discuss their plans for Irish and UK deployment. Also in attendance will be development companies, including SSE Renewables, Mainstream Renewable Power, Oriel Windfarm and FST. In addition to this, leading suppliers such as Areva, Siemens, ABB, Harland and Wolff and Strabag Wind will outline their experiences of the market. 

At the launch of the event today, Marina Donohoe, head of Cleantech at Enterprise Ireland, outlined the potential market that exists for Irish companies: “The offshore wind market in Ireland and overseas presents strong opportunities for clients from many sectors.  Export-led job growth in this emerging sector is a priority for Enterprise Ireland and the forum is part of a series of initiatives to support development in this sector.

“Recent research published by energy analysts SBI Energy outlines a global development of 79GW of offshore wind projects in the next five years. This represents a compound annual growth in the industry of 92pc. Developing the indigenous sector to capitalise on this growth market will be of relevance to companies from clean tech, marine, software, engineering, electronics and construction,” she said.

Ireland must fight for wind-energy jobs

According to Brian Britton of NOW Ireland, Ireland needs to be focusing on the huge supply-chain opportunity that offshore wind provides: “The UK Government and UK companies have been proactive in seeking to tap into this market.  Recent weeks have seen major job announcements by international market leaders such as Iberdrola, GE and Mitsubishi, Clipper Windpower and Multibrid, all locating operations in the UK. 

“Ireland is perfectly positioned to attract this foreign investment and also to build our own indigenous businesses. Industry sources have estimated that 60,000 jobs will be created in offshore wind development in the next two decades. Ireland needs to be fighting for its share of them. This event is a key part in helping Irish companies to secure business,” he added. 

Further information on the event is available from NOW Ireland at 042 9322952 or at

Article courtesy of

Business & Leadership is hosting a briefing on The Green Economy this May. Learn more about this event