At least 20,000 and as many as 80,000 new jobs and a boost of €3.9bn to Ireland’s GDP by 2020 are possible if Ireland focuses on clean tech. This would require a national clean tech framework.
At present Ireland’s import of fossil fuels stands at €5.6bn, according to Ernst & Young. And the grimace on the face of most motorists as they drive away from a petrol station across Ireland today speaks volumes as they are forced to pay higher and higher fuel costs.
But there is an opportunity to instead become an exporter of fossil fuels when you consider opportunities for renewable energy. After all, Ireland has one of the longest coastlines in Europe.
Globally the clean tech sector is estimated to be a US$5 trillion market and according to Ernst & Young if Ireland takes advantage of its natural advantages in this area as many as 80,000 direct and indirect jobs could be created in areas like renewable energy and retrofitting and construction.
“The clean tech sector can transform Ireland’s economy in two fundamental ways. Firstly, the sector can drive economic recovery through job creation and growth,” Barry O’Flynn, Head of clean tech and Sustainability at Ernst & Young Ireland explained.
“Secondly, it places future economic growth on a sustainable path by breaking our dependence on importing fossil fuels which currently stands at €5.6 billion, by significantly reducing domestic national energy consumption and generating more indigenous renewable energy,” O’Flynn added.
The Ernst & Young report warns, however, against policy inaction and points out Ireland’s international competitiveness will be eroded if volatile, high energy prices prevail.
The negative impact on GDP is estimated to range from €9.8bn to €12.3bn. Fiscal suicide in these recessionary times!
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