More than 20,000 additional jobs could be created in the sustainable energy sector by 2020, according to an analysis by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).
The sector currently supports 10,000 jobs and this figure could treble by 2020. It expects that 13,000 jobs could be created and supported in renewable energy and energy efficiency and 7,000 jobs could be indirectly created by enhancing business competitiveness.
“The sustainable energy sector offers significant benefits to Ireland, including creating jobs, increased competitiveness and future proofing against upward price trends,” said Prof J Owen Lewis, chief executive of SEAI.
“The transition to sustainable energy is well under way, but the pace needs to accelerate for Irish society to truly benefit.
“Ireland has significant and growing strengths in the areas of energy efficient and renewable energy technologies; now business and policy makers must work together to deliver on the export potential that exists within these key areas,” he said.
Opportunities in sustainable energy
The figures were announced at the SEAI’s annual Energy Show in the RDS in Dublin which showcases the top sustainable energy products, services and innovations in the industry. Four thousand people are expected to attend this year’s Energy Show, which is themed ‘Open up to Smart Energy Solutions.’
Pat Rabbitte, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, also launched an impact report on Better Energy Workplaces 2011 which said the Irish state’s €11m investment to support 85 organisational energy upgrades will be repaid in energy savings in one year.
“Sustainable energy is becoming the norm in Ireland and with that change comes many economic opportunities and jobs,” said Rabbitte.
“Irish enterprises adopting sustainable energy practices are reducing costs, becoming more competitive, securing jobs and as a result are delivering real benefits in all sectors of our economy,” he said.