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Construction sector to receive €500m boost from wind energy investment

23 March, 2016

• Landowners in line for €100 million windfall and local advisory firms €162 million
• €2.7 billion to be invested in wind energy between 2016 and 2020

The Irish construction sector is set to benefit from close to €500 million of investment in wind energy projects in the next four years, as new wind energy projects are built to enable Ireland meet its 2020 renewable energy targets, according to new figures from the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA).

The figures, which will be revealed at IWEA’s Annual Conference held in Dublin tomorrow, show that the wind energy sector is also set to invest €162 million in local advisory services, €54 million in transport, and that landowners are in line for €108 million of investment as wind energy companies seek to acquire suitable land and lease contracts for their projects.

Total investment in the onshore wind energy required to meet Ireland’s 2020 targets will amount to approximately €2.7 billion between now and 2020.

Entitled “Energy Matters”, the conference will hear that 300MW of wind energy now needs to be installed each year to avoid Ireland falling behind on meeting its 40% renewable electricity target.

Brendan Heneghan, Interim CEO of IWEA, said: “These figures show that wind energy is contributing significant investment to the Irish economy in addition to the contribution the sector makes with regards to taxation, direct and indirect employment, ongoing commercial rates and reduced levels of energy imports. The contribution to the construction sector alone is very significant and in recent years wind energy development has helped support activity levels in the construction sector, which was decimated by the economic collapse.”

“The investment numbers we’re highlighting at the conference only relate to the required wind energy to meet Ireland’s 2020 targets. However, if we were to develop more wind energy, for example to meet the growing electricity demand from data centres, Ireland would be in line for further investment and reap other side benefits such as lower electricity prices for both domestic and industrial consumers. If this growing electricity demand is met through ongoing reliance on energy imports, however, that could impose costs on the Irish electricity system and result in increased electricity prices,” said Heneghan.

At its conference IWEA will be highlighting that to fully deliver on these benefits it is essential to maintain momentum and ensure the required regulatory certainty to facilitate and secure investment in the wind energy sector, as well as other renewable and supporting technologies.

Speakers at the IWEA conference include Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Alex White; Fintan Slye, Chief Executive, EirGrid; Garrett Blaney, Commissioner, Commission for Energy Regulation; Dr. Frank McGovern, Head of Climate Change Research and Science, EPA; and Kristian Ruby, Chief Policy Officer, European Wind Energy Association.

-Ends-

For More Information
Robert Brown, ReputationInc
rbrown@reputation-inc.com
01 412 0514


About IWEA
Established in 1993, the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) is the national body representing the wind energy sector in Ireland. IWEA is committed to promoting the use of wind energy in Ireland and beyond as an economically viable and environmentally sound alternative to conventional generation and promotes awareness and understanding of wind power as the primary renewable energy resource. IWEA is also dedicated to education and awareness building, and to building the skills base of the renewable energy sector in Ireland. IWEA also supports the development of other renewable technology, particularly marine energy. IWEA has more than 200 members who incorporate all leading industry voices in Ireland. IWEA acts as a central point for information for its membership as well as a voice to promote wind energy to government. IWEA is entirely self-funded and relies on the support of its members.

For more information, please visit http://www.iwea.com

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