Ireland is on its way to becoming a major hub for the Green Economy. Abundant wind resources, ambitious decarbonisation plans, supportive government policies, talent availability, a thriving research and development environment, financial incentives and opportunities for collaboration are all contributing to the growing success across this sector.
Sustainability is a major component of IDA Ireland’s corporate strategy ‘Driving Recovery and Sustainable Growth 2021-2024’. IDA Ireland is actively supporting its client base to achieve ambitious sustainability goals. IDA Ireland is also pursuing sustainability across its own operations, specifically across its office and property portfolios. In terms of attracting investment, IDA Ireland is also placing a key focus on winning FDI from the world’s leading companies across all areas of the Green Economy.
Ireland has one of the most ambitious decarbonisation plans of any country in the world making it an attractive location for global companies to expand or invest in for the first time. Already 43% of electricity used in Ireland in 2020 was from renewables, a 20% increase on the year before. Ireland’s Climate Action Plan aims for this to be at least 80% by 2030. Ireland is already the 2nd highest in Europe for wind and solar energy production per capita.
Ireland’s FDI base is very active on the sustainability agenda. Many companies are actively disclosing their carbon footprints and have ambitious climate action plans. Many FDI operations in Ireland are leading their corporation’s global drive to reach net zero thereby adding considerable capability and competitiveness to their organisations. 66% of IDA Ireland’s top 100 clients have made net zero carbon pledges and actively disclose their carbon footprint. Furthermore, 15 of IDA Ireland’s top 40 clients are achieving A ratings on sustainability, which only 3% of companies globally have yet attained.
As the most westerly country in Europe, as well as having the fastest average wind speeds, Ireland’s position on the Atlantic coast makes it the most suitable location in Europe for an abundance of wind energy. It is already number one in the world for share of electricity demand provided by onshore wind. There are ambitious plans in action for offshore wind energy which could generate multiples of the energy than what the country currently uses today. This has also led to plans to produce hydrogen at scale using excess wind energy.
The commitment to the Irish Government’s Climate Action Plan is an all-government commitment with support across the whole political spectrum. The Irish Government is one of the very few globally that is in the process of setting its GHG emissions reduction targets in law. This is making Ireland’s ambitious targets legally-binding and enforceable. This demonstrates the determination in Ireland and provides companies with the confidence that they can achieve their sustainability goals in Ireland.
IDA Ireland has a suite of grant mechanisms which can be availed of by client companies who undertake various sustainable projects. These incentives can provide financial support for a vast array of initiatives from developing climate action plans, where the Green Start or Green Plus programme can be leveraged to access expert advice, to clients undertaking significant decarbonisation projects, where IDA Ireland’s Environmental Aid Programme can be potentially utilised. IDA Ireland’s other grant offerings also bear relevance to many sustainable initiatives, particularly the R&D grant which can be used for large-scale multi-year research projects where companies are looking to develop next-generation technologies within the sphere of the Green Economy.
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