Job Creation Potential of Ireland’s Wind Industry Examined

The potential job creation benefit of an expansion of the wind industry in Ireland is the subject of a new report authored by researchers from Trinity College Dublin. The report, An Enterprising Wind: An economic analysis of the job creation potential of the wind sector in Ireland, was launched on Wednesday, February 19th by the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Minister Pat Rabbitte.

The research was conducted by Dr Eleanor Denny, Assistant Professor of Economics at Trinity’s Department of Economics, Trinity postdoctoral researcher Dr Amy O’Mahoney, and Professor John FitzGerald at the ESRI. The research was sponsored by Siemens and the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA).

The report shows that the sector has the potential to generate up to 35,000 jobs across the economy and suggests that overall investment would amount to between €7 and €29 billion depending on the level of ambition pursued.  This significant level of investment and its associated employment potential would contribute significantly to Ireland’s economic growth.

Commenting on the importance of the research, Assistant Professor of Economics at Trinity, Dr Eleanor Denny said: “There has been much debate in recent years about the jobs potential of the wind industry in Ireland with estimates ranging widely.  This study represents the first comprehensive study of the employment benefits of the industry and is based on a detailed study of delivered wind energy projects in Ireland in addition to international comparisons.”

“The study highlights the potential of the industry to create jobs across the spectrum from low skill to high skill with a large proportion of potential jobs occurring in rural areas.  The results of this report will form a key input into the cost-benefit analysis currently being undertaken by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources into the export potential of the wind industry.”