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Positive Economic Impacts of Wind Energy to Ripple through Irish Economy, New Research Reveals

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Dublin, 27 March 2014: Using wind energy to meet Ireland’s 2020 targets and adding further capacity up to 2030, will dramatically reduce Ireland’s costly dependency on foreign energy, lower wholesale electricity prices and deliver €1.8 billion in new tax revenue to the Irish state, all without leading to any cost to Irish consumers, according to detailed new independent research into the economic impact of the wind energy sector in Ireland.

“The Value of Wind Energy to Ireland” report, compiled by Pöyry, a leading international consulting and engineering consultancy, and Cambridge Econometrics, a leading independent consultancy specialising in applied economic modelling, is the most comprehensive independent study ever conducted into the economic impact of wind energy development in Ireland, and has shed new light on the economic benefits of further developing the clean renewable energy.

The report, which will be launched at the annual conference of the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) sponsored by ENERCON, held in Dublin today, March 27th, highlights that by installing the 3.8GW of wind capacity required to meet the Republic of Ireland’s 2020 targets and developing a further 1.6GW between 2020 and 2030, to meet domestic energy demand, the wind energy sector would:

Deliver €8.3 billion of investment into the Irish economy

This would comprise €3.5 billion of direct investment to 2020 (1.2% of total Irish investment) and an additional €4.8 billion to 2030.

Significantly contribute to economic growth

The net annual GDP impact will be between €350m and €490m per annum in the period to 2020, rising to between €646m and €769m per annum in the 2021-2030 timeframe.

Provide at least €1.8bn additional cumulative tax revenue to the Irish State

Development of wind energy can deliver additional cumulative tax revenue to the Irish State of €1.8bn if Ireland meets its 2020 targets and continues to grow domestic wind capacity through to 2030.

Lower wholesale electricity prices

The analysis shows that if Ireland deploys wind capacity to meet 2020 targets the wholesale price will fall by €2.10/MWh by 2020.

Lead to no additional cost to Irish consumers

Meeting 2020 targets, which would see 3.8GW of wind installed by 2020 in ROI does not place a burden on the Irish consumer due to the net economic benefits of wind energy development.

Save Ireland €700 million per year in fossil fuel imports and reduce the country’s dependency on energy imports

Ireland comes 4th of the most energy dependent states in the EU importing 85% of its energy. If no new wind capacity is deployed post 2014, energy imports of coal, oil and gas will rise from €900m in 2013 to €1100m in 2020 and €1500m in 2030.

Support 22,510 jobs

The report expects the level of employment in the Irish economy to rise by between 1,150 and 1,800 jobs per annum in the period to 2020 and by between 1,600 and 2,300 per annum thereafter to 2030.

Protect the environment by significantly reducing CO2 emissions

By doubling the output of wind in RoI by 2020 the annual carbon emissions avoided and displaced is over 21 metric tonnes up to 2020, a 35% decrease on current levels.

The report also highlights that if Ireland were to become an exporter of renewable wind energy the economic impact of the sector would multiply significantly. Under the most ambitious scenario additional cumulative tax revenue to the State could amount to €8.4bn; investment in the economy could total €16.6 billion from 2013-20 and €14 billion from 2021-30. The net impact on GDP could grow to €5 billion per annum under this scenario.

Speaking in advance of the IWEA conference Kenneth Matthews, CEO of IWEA, said:

“At a time when energy supply and security is at the top of the international agenda, this report clearly demonstrates the very considerable economic, environmental, social and security of supply benefits the continued transition towards wind energy will bring to Ireland.

“Unlike our fossil fuel imports to which we are so heavily reliant on with no environmental benefit and at a huge cost to the state, the positive impact of Irish wind energy must continue to be appreciated at a national and local level by consumers, communities, businesses and the State in Ireland.

“To fully deliver on these benefits, it is now essential to maintain momentum and remain focused on achieving our 2020 renewable energy targets with a view to continuing to grow the sector beyond 2020 for the benefit of all our communities.”

The report, “The Value of Wind Energy to Ireland” was supported by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), Coillte, SSE and IWEA.

“The Value of Wind Energy to Ireland”

The report, “The Value of Wind Energy to Ireland” is available on IWEA’s website www.iwea.com

About the IWEA 2014 Annual Conference

The IWEA Annual Conference 2014 entitled “Valuing our Energy Transition Together” will focus on the economic contribution the development of Irish wind energy up to and beyond 2020 in addition to a range of other themes including Foreign Direct Investment, project finance and the importance of local community engagement. Speakers at this year’s conference will include Minister Fergus O’Dowd, TD, Minister of State with Responsibility for the NewEra; Paula Abreu Marques, Head of Unit, Renewables and CCS Policy, European Commission; Fintan Slye, Chief Executive of Eirgrid; Robin Borgert, Head of Sales Northern Europe, ENERCON; David Jones, Head of Renewable Energy, Allianz Capital Partners; Anthony Rourke, Senior Manager, Project Finance, Bank of Ireland; Tim Cowhig, CEO of Element Power and Mark Elborne, President & CEO. GE UK & Ireland.

The Main sponsor for the IWEA 2014 Annual Conference is ENERCON. Supporting Sponsors are Mason Hayes & Curran, KONA (formerly lynx metmAsts), CG Power Systems Ireland Ltd and Eversheds.

About IWEA:

IWEA is Ireland’s leading renewable energy representative body representing more than 200 members involved in wind and renewable energy development in Ireland and Northern Ireland, and represents members with projects across the spectrum, in operation, under construction and awaiting connection. IWEA members represent the full spectrum of the supply chain, and currently employ more than 3400 people in Ireland, are involved in the majority of connected projects and more than 85% of the renewable energy required to deliver the 2020 targets. IWEA is also committed to the promotion and education of wind energy issues and plays a leading role in the areas of jobs and skills training for the sector, conference organisation, proactive community engagement, policy development and advocacy on the island of Ireland. IWEA is committed to promoting the use of wind energy in Ireland and beyond as an economically viable and environmentally sound alternative to thermal or nuclear generation.

IWEA comprises the largest national network with members from across the sector including wind farm developers, turbine manufacturers, construction companies, supply companies, accountants, insurance, consultancy, legal firms, banks and small local businesses. We believe that Ireland can be a world leader in renewable energy reducing CO2 emissions, creating investment and jobs, increasing energy security and creating a thriving export industry.

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

About Pöyry:

Pöyry is an international consulting and engineering company. We serve clients globally across the energy and industrial sectors and locally in our core markets. We deliver strategic advisory and engineering services, underpinned by strong project implementation capability and expertise. Our focus sectors are power generation, transmission & distribution, forest industry, chemicals & biorefining, mining & metals, transportation, water and real estate sectors. Pöyry has an extensive local office network employing about 6,500 experts. Pöyry’s net sales in 2013 were EUR 650 million and the company’s shares are quoted on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki (Pöyry PLC: POY1V).

About Cambridge Econometrics:

Cambridge Econometrics is an independent consultancy established in the late-1970s as a spin-off from the Department of Applied Economics of the University of Cambridge. Its aim is to provide rigorous, accessible and relevant independent economic analysis to support strategic planners and policy-makers in business and government. The E3ME model, which was used for this analysis, has been applied to assess the economic impact of energy and environment policy in various contexts, for government authorities and public agencies.

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