The new policy paper, Delivering Our Green Potential, demonstrates the government’s commitment to the Irish renewable energy sector and refers specifically to the way in which wind power can help the Irish economy
The government is promising to create at least 10,000 green jobs over the next three years which the government believes can be found in at least six sub-sectors of the green economy if key challenges are addressed. In addition the government will set up a Consultative Committee on the Green Economy, chaired by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. The aim of the committee will be to identify emerging opportunities for Ireland in the emerging green economy and the committee will include representatives from the business community alongside other stakeholders and government departments. An Action Plan for Jobs will be published in 2013.
“It is estimated that well over 10,000 extra jobs could be created, and we are determined to realise this potential” said Irish Jobs Minister Richard Bruton.
This may very well mean building more wind farms alongside growth in other technologies such as heat pumps and solar panels. The government hopes to encourage more investment in wind by passing legislation to make it easier to build more offshore wind farms and attracting more green financial services companies to the country in order to help support the sector. The government is aiming to reach a target of at least 200MW of new renewable energy generation connected to the grid each year.
“The Government has once more reaffirmed its commitment to the Green Energy sector in Ireland and IWEA commends the Irish Government in its efforts to capitalise on the significant opportunities offered by the renewable energy industry” said Kenneth Matthews, CEO of the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA). “We welcome this document’s reiteration of support for the production of domestic wind energy through Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariffs (REFIT) and also the Government’s recognition that the wind sector can provide significant energy exporting potential. IWEA particularly welcomes the establishment of a Consultative Committee on the Green Economy, which Minister Richard Bruton will chair. This will help to immediately identify emerging trends and opportunities for the Green Economy so that Ireland can be a world leader in this sector.”
Other targets identified by the government include the replacement of the Better Energy Homes Scheme with a Pay As You Save Scheme and the development of a green goods and services sector.