Green jobs potential for Ireland’s all-island economy

31 Aug 2011

EU Commission's official lightbulb image for energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is one of Europe’s fastest-growing sectors with an annual turnover of €319bn, so green job creation in Ireland and energy efficiency will to be thrashed out at major EU conference today (1 Sept) when EU sustainability experts converge in Ireland for a major all-island conference.

The event, which will be hosted by the European Commission Representation in Ireland will take place in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dundalk, Co Louth from 10am today.

The conference will focus on making the most of energy efficiency initiatives, creating green collar jobs in that sector in Ireland and the potential for boosting the all-island economy in the process.

Barbara Nolan, head of the European Commission Representation in Ireland, will chair the conference, as well as delivering one of the main speeches.

Minister Pat Rabbitte and Minister Alex Attwood, along with MEP Mairead McGuinness, and Giovanni De Santi of the European Commission will open the conference at 10am.

EU aiming to make continent 20pc more energy efficient

Speaking ahead of the all-island event, Nolan pointed to how energy efficiency is one of EU’s key objectives, as it aims to make the EU 20pc more energy efficient than it was in 2005 by 2020.

“This conference is about examining Ireland’s role in achieving this target and the potential for job creation in the sector. We believe that investment in energy efficiency measures can boost the economy and create jobs as energy efficiency is one of Europe’s fastest-growing sectors with an annual turnover of €319bn.”

Barbara Nolan EU Commission Representation in Ireland

Barbara Nolan, head of the European Commission Representation in Ireland

Key themes that will be up for discussion at the conference will include case studies of successful initiatives and what the Irish Government, companies and public authorities are doing to tap into the serious potential this sector holds.

The conference will centre on three themes:

Theme 1: Energy efficiency and the creation of green jobs in Ireland

This segment will be chaired by Tadhg O’Briain, DG Energy, European Commission.

Speakers will include Jarek Zasaksinski of Greiner Packaging; John Fitzgerald of the ERSI; Jim Kitchen of University of Ulster and Padraig McManus, CEO of ESB Electric Ireland.

Theme 2: Case studies on regional and business cooperation

This segment will be chaired by Reg McCabe, CEO, IBEC-CBI Joint Business Council

Presentations will be given by Michael Curran, Louth Local Authorities; John Farrell of Newry and Mourne District Council; Sean O’Driscoll, CEO of Glen Dimplex; and John Barry of Queen’s University Belfast (QUB).

Theme 3: All-Island Co-operation, the European perspective and the way ahead

Chaired by Sharon Turner at QUB, speakers for this segment will include Aidan Gough of InterTradeIreland; and Noel Rice of the NI Housing Executive.

Brian Motherway, CEO of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, will act as MC to the conference and will summarise the day’s proceedings at 4.30pm.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic