Wind energy industry still booming in Ireland

6 Oct 2016

Gibbet Hill Windfarm in Co Wexford

A report from the Irish Wind Energy Association suggests that hundreds of jobs a year are being created in the industry, with many more to come in the near future.

300 jobs a year are being created in the wind energy industry and that shows no signs of slowing down if figures from the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) hold up in future.

The body says 1,100 new jobs will be created in the industry by 2020, following a survey of 150 energy companies operating in Ireland.

That will add one-quarter to the 4,400 people currently working in an industry on the up, with the increase needed to support the integration of a further 1,600MW of wind energy onto the Irish grid by 2020.

Renewable wind energy

Representing an estimated direct investment of over €2.5bn, this will add to the €4bn already invested into the industry, according to the IWEA.

Cork is currently the county with the highest penetration of wind energy in Ireland, with 461MW currently installed. This is followed by Kerry (315MW), Donegal (298MW), Tipperary (268MW) and Limerick (182MW).

Satisfying almost one-quarter of Ireland’s entire electricity demand this year, the presence of wind farms outside of major urban areas has helped to spread employment throughout the country.

The IWEA claims that over half of the industry jobs are in Dublin, with the vast majority of the 4,400 employees working in organisational HQs throughout the 150 companies.

1,000 people are employed in operational and engineering roles on wind farms, whilst a further 300 people are employed at regional support offices spread across Ireland.

Chairman of the IWEA Peter Harte said: “Wind energy is continuing to grow strongly in Ireland and employment in the sector is increasing consistently across the country in line with expectations.

“While wind energy is fast becoming Ireland’s most competitive energy resource, it is also bringing considerable economic benefits to towns and regions throughout Ireland by way of employment, commercial rates and contributions to local communities.”

Looking for jobs in tech or science? Check out our Employer Profiles for information on companies hiring right now.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic