Irish wind energy sector to create 1,100 jobs by 2020
A new survey of companies carried out by the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) suggests that the wind energy industry has delivered 300 new jobs a year since 2013, with growth potential pinpointing a further 1,100 new jobs in the sector by 2020.
Over 150 energy companies took part in the survey, indicating that economic projections made by Trinity College Dublin and the Economic and Social Research Institute on jobs in the sector have been fairly accurate.
Currently, approximately 4,400 people are employed in the sector, with most of them based in rural Ireland. The majority (3,100) of positions are based in organisational headquarters, while just under a quarter (1,000) were employed in operational and engineering roles on wind farms spread across the country.
A shortage of the essential skills needed for the industry was a significant factor that companies in the survey highlighted. Almost a third (33%) highlighted that skills shortages were a growing concern, forcing some to look abroad to fill essential roles.
Peter Harte, chairman of the IWEA, comments: “Wind energy is continuing to grow strongly in Ireland and employment in the sector is increasing consistently across the country in line with expectations. While wind energy is fast becoming Ireland’s most competitive energy resource, it is also bringing considerable economic benefits to towns and regions throughout Ireland by way of employment, commercial rates and contributions to local communities.”