The four-year plan released by the Government places significant emphasis on the areas of Ireland’s energy future and digital infrastructure and Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Eamon Ryan has welcomed their inclusion in the National Recovery Plan.
The Minister says these areas will be drivers of Ireland’s economic recovery.
“Our concentration on the green and digital economy is paying off. Competition in the electricity market and the development of renewables is driving down energy costs.
“One-third of all of our high-value start-ups last year were in the clean-technology sector. Software exports now total €23bn and The National Skills Survey showed a 6pc growth in ICT jobs, now employing 73,000 people.
“Investment and jobs are growing in energy and ICT. This plan aims to accelerate these areas of success in the economy.”
Ryan says that between 2012 and 2014, the semi-states will invest around €8m in sustainable energy – renewable energy and smart grids; a flexible grid that can incorporate renewable energy and the two-way flow of electricity.
The Minister also spoke on the possibility of exporting the clean energy generated in Ireland to the UK and abroad and believes that the future for financial trading in Ireland will be green focused.
“Building on our success in financial services in the Dublin docklands, we intend to capitalise on the growing global demand for green financial services, including carbon trading and verification services. To that end, the Government will launch the Green IFSC in the near future.”
Ryan also said he would soon announce a rural broadband scheme and that the success of the existing 100MB broadband to schools scheme will see it rolled out to every second-level school in Ireland by the end of 2012.
“Green energy and digital services are Ireland’s stimulus. This plan ensures that these areas will continue to grow,” the Minister said.
As part of the National Recovery Plan, the Government has announced its intention to double carbon tax from €15 per tonne, as it was in the 2010 Budget, to €30 per tonnne.