Onshore wind power to boost jobs in rural Ireland
Achieving the onshore wind energy targets of the Climate Action Plan will generate € 2.7 billion in investment over the next 10 years, create thousands of new jobs and could be worth € 550 million. euros per year for the Irish economy.
The figures come from a new report, “Economic Impact of Onshore Wind in Ireland,” produced by KPMG for Wind Energy Ireland and launched at the association’s annual conference on April 15, 2021. It is about the analysis most comprehensive economic plan in the industry to date.
Noel Cunniffe, Acting Managing Director of Wind Energy Ireland, said: “Onshore wind energy today employs over 5,000 people and invests hundreds of millions of people in our economy, primarily in rural Ireland. Today’s KPMG report shows that if we meet the target set in the Climate Action Plan, it will mean more jobs, more investment and stronger communities across the country.
Among the main findings of the report are:
- Irish wind farms currently support more than 5,100 jobs directly and through the supply chain, and that number could rise to more than 7,000 by 2030.
- Onshore wind represents € 410 million per year for the current economy, most of it concentrated in rural Ireland.
- Wind farms pay more than 45 million euros in commercial tariffs to county councils and this figure is expected to double by the end of the decade. In seven Irish counties, wind farms account for more than 8% of the total commercial tariff budget and this figure rises to 22% in Leitrim and 15.5% in Tipperary.
- Communities can potentially benefit from up to € 25 million in annual community benefit payments as new wind farms are built.
Russell Smyth, Head of Sustainability at KPMG, said: “Our report highlights the crucial role the onshore wind sector plays in the Irish economy. In addition to materially helping Ireland achieve its decarbonisation ambitions by 2030, as set out in the climate action plan, the sector creates jobs in construction and operations, contributes to local authorities and the Exchequer, and adds to the overall economic output of Ireland.
The report was based on extensive research and analysis by the KPMG team, as well as data collected from responses to detailed surveys of 2020 capital and operating expenses from many Wind Energy members. Ireland, which has over 160 members. This ensured that the analysis was based on actual employment and expenditure figures.
Noel Cunniffe continued: “Irish wind farms are reducing our CO2 emissions of 4 million tonnes per year and increasing. Today’s report shows that in addition to being essential in tackling climate change, wind farms are increasingly at the heart of the Irish economy.
“It shows that we can reduce our carbon emissions while creating jobs, attracting investment and building stronger, more sustainable communities. This is what the just transition looks like.
“We know we have the pipeline to deliver 4,000 MW of onshore wind power by 2030 and this report shows that every new wind farm we build will pay off mortgages, fund child care and support local businesses.
Investing in rural Ireland
Noel Cunniffe continued: “Moreover, the tariffs paid by these wind farms keep libraries open, repair roads and support local businesses, but the investments made by wind farms in rural Ireland go way beyond.
“The KPMG report shows that 95% of operational expenditure for Irish wind farms is in the south, west or north of the country where it supports local jobs and local businesses.
“And under the new renewable electricity support program, launched last year by Minister Eamon Ryan, the additional 4000 MW of onshore wind power to be delivered during this decade could be worth 25 million euros. per year in community benefit payments, 40% of which are reserved for sustainable development. development projects. “
The report was funded by Wind Energy Ireland with additional support from Bord na Móna, Brookfield Renewables, Coillte and Statkraft Ireland.
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