A greener economy – the Government takes note

21 May 2009

The Government has today announced that it it has signed up a taskforce of leading energy experts and business chiefs to advise it on how it should go about investing in Ireland’s green economy, in an era when the global energy market is expected to be worth over €950bn by 2010.

The High Level Action Group on Green Enterprise will comprise leading lights in the green-energy area such as Eddie O’Connor, chief executive of Mainstream Renewable Power and former head of Airtricity; Martin Eves, Envirogrind; Richard Kennedy, CEO, Kedco; and Dr Rosheen McGuckian, NTR.

The group will report back to the Government in four months time, advising it on how state agencies and departments should work together.

According to Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan TD, the aim of this taskforce is to steer the Government in a new direction.

“I believe the green economy provides Ireland with a tremendous opportunity to create quality jobs in a sustainable and high-growth sector,” she said.

The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Eamon Ryan TD, said the green economy will give an “immediate” boost to Ireland during these difficult times.

 “Ireland has huge potential in the area of our natural resources and the generation of real wealth and jobs,” he said.

“This group will be tasked with mobilising our talents across the public and private sector to position Ireland at the forefront of the new global green economy.”

The establishment of this taskforce follows on from the Government’s Building Ireland’s Smart Economy: A Framework for Sustainable Economic Renewal.

A report published by Forfás in 2008, entitled Environmental Goods and Services Sector on the Island of Ireland, Enterprise Opportunities and Policy Implications, estimated that the main sub-sectors with potential environmental goods and services opportunities are: renewable energies; efficient-energy use and management (including eco-construction); waste management, recovery and recycling; water and wastewater treatment; and environmental consultancy and services.

For further information, visit www.forfas.ie/publications.

By Carmel Doyle

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic