(SeeNews) - Mar 10, 2014 - The wind energy segment in Ireland is expected to attract EUR 7 billion (USD 9.7bn) of investments and create more than 5,000 new jobs in the next few years, the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) said Friday.
The projection is based on a confirmed project pipeline of over 180 new wind schemes, which are seen to boost the number of jobs in the sector to over 8,400 from 3,400 currently, IWEA said, citing a report by Trinity College Dublin and Dublin-based Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
On Friday, the Irish Independent said that a planned inter-governmental deal related to wind power exports from Ireland to the UK is no longer expected to become a reality within the 2020 timescale envisaged. This in turn threatens the future of a 2-GW project for the construction of linked wind farms in the Irish Midlands as, up to now, the plan was for the power produced to go to the UK. Despite that, IWEA’s CEO Kenneth Matthews believes that the wind industry in Ireland will be “buoyant in the coming years” and will have a pivotal role in Ireland’s efforts to meet its 2020 renewable energy targets.
The European Commission last week released the results from a study made ahead of European Union debates on renewables, showing than about 89% of Irish people think the government should hike the 2030 renewable targets. The EU Parliament showed in February its strong support for a 2030 renewable energy goal of no less than 30% in final energy consumption and binding targets for member states. According to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), a binding target of at least 30% will open 568,000 jobs in Europe.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.388)