IFA says 8,000 'green collar' jobs possible
THE IRISH Farmers’ Association has claimed 8,000 “green collar” jobs could be created by developing the renewable energy sector in wind power and biomass.
The IFA told an Oireachtas subcommittee meeting yesterday that it had identified 6,000 locations where farmers could establish micro-wind turbines that would generate enough electricity to power 32,000 households.
Seán O’Leary, who leads the association’s project team on climate change, told the subcommittee the sites would not be visually intrusive and would reduce imported fuel costs on farms.
“These turbines have the capacity to drive down on-farm fossil fuel use and to deliver enough electricity to meet the demands of 32,000 households each year,” he said.
“They would also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 2 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, over the expected service life of the wind turbines,” he told the subcommittee which is part of the Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Employment. “This micro-energy strategy provides a significant opportunity for farmers to consider renewable electric farm machinery into the future which could create up to 3,000 jobs.”
He called for a stimulus package to maximise the opportunities in the renewable sector. These would include changes in planning regulations and an increase in what farmers would be paid for the electricity generated.
The association was also seeking the introduction of a double capital allowance tax relief up to a maximum investment of €50,000 in micro-energy for any individual and the introduction of smart and net metering technologies.
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