Ireland has the potential to create 10,000 green collar jobs by 2015 and become a major exporter of wind energy to the UK in the years to come, Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Fergus O’Dowd, TD, told this morning’s Green Growth Forum in Dublin.
O’Dowd’s comments at The Convention Centre Dublin come within 24 hours of Ireland signing a major memorandum of understanding (MoU)between the Irish and UK governments to progress plans for the trading of renewable energy between both countries.
“The green economy is a major opportunity for growth competitiveness,” O’Dowd said. “The Expert Skills Group estimates that 10,000 green collar jobs could be created by 2015. This is a new global market that has evolved and we need to take advantage of the opportunity by being more resource efficient and reduce the costs for businesses and consumers.
“We have world-class renewable energy resources in this country, excellence in R&D and innovation, an outstanding natural environment, a talented workforce and a cluster of companies large and small that are leaders in this area.
“We have the potential to support sustainable economic growth and the creation of those jobs,” O’Dowd said.
O’Dowd commended the work of the Green IFSC and said there is a public-private working group already at work to put in place sustainable financial solutions to grow Ireland’s export base.
He said the framework will be underpinned by the creation of an Energy Efficiency Fund.
Laying the foundations of Ireland’s green economy
“It is envisaged that this framework will bring suppliers and buyers together, bringing together the reference material, the technical support and overcoming existing barriers in order to meet the EU’s 2020 energy-efficiency targets.”
O’Dowd said the Green IFSC has the full support of the Taoiseach’s department and demonstrates that when public and private sectors work together, Ireland benefits.
“The Green IFSC has achieved goals across tax and talent development and the development of policies for waste water and energy usage.”
O’Dowd said Ireland has major opportunities in terms of harnessing wind and water energy and creating a vibrant export market.
“The MoU signed yesterday affirms the State’s commitment to maintaining a partnership with the UK on energy issues and electricity markets and maximising the sustainable use of resources.
“We can generate more wind energy than we need domestically. We need to fully consider how Irish renewable energy resources can be developed for the mutual development of the UK and Ireland.
“By exporting green power we can support employment growth, increase GDP and increase investment opportunities on both of these islands,” O’Dowd said.
Watch Minister Fergus O’Dowd deliver his opening address at the Green Growth Forum, about Ireland’s green economy potential: