Ireland top of the world for renewable energy investment

20 Aug 2008

Ireland has landed in the top 10 countries worldwide for attracting investment in renewable energy.

Ireland rose from 12th place to 10th place in the overall Ernst & Young renewable index.

The country rose from 11th to eight place in the long-term wind index and rose from 15th to 11th in the near-term wind index.

The US retains the top ranking on the overall renewables index followed by Germany, India, China and Spain.

“The Commission for Energy Regulation announced that with the enhanced grid connection and modification it would be possible to have 42pc of Ireland’s electricity supply from renewable energy,” said Jonathan Johns of Ernest & Young.

“The draft legislation, which would allow the East –West interconnector, is also a positive development.

“Other factors include the introduction of new tariffs for offshore wind and marine energy. The new tariff for marine energy devices will prove to be a significant boost to Ireland’s fledgling marine renewables industry and looks to be one of the first feed-in tariffs for marine technologies,” commented Johns.

“Under the EU’s 2020 energy targets, Ireland will need to generate 16pc of its total energy by 2020. To reach this target the Irish Government is also legislating to support competitive advantage from natural resources with the greatest potential in Ireland. “

The rising cost of fossil fuels has created mixed fortunes for the renewables industry. Johns said: “As renewable energy becomes more competitive versus fossil fuels, governments around the world are under increasing pressure to consider how they incentivise investment in renewables projects, and what impact this has on taxpayers.”

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years