ENGINEERS Ireland has said that the review of the National Development Plan (NDP) 2018-27 must avoid the mistakes of the past and systematically prioritise target projects with the greatest impact for Irish society.
To mark the body’s submission and recommendations to the Government’s ‘Review to Renew’ NDP consultation, Engineers Ireland undertook a survey of its members and found that only 28% of the country’s engineers agree that Ireland’s infrastructure is in good condition, with capacity for future development. Ireland’s infrastructure was given only a ‘C’ grade by respondents, denoting mediocre condition and capacity.
The Government’s review of the National Development Plan 2018-27 (NDP) aims to set out a 10-year programme of capital investment aimed at upgrading Ireland’s infrastructure, enhancing economic capacity and promoting balanced regional development. Dr Kieran Feighan, Fellow and Chartered Engineer with Engineers Ireland, said that the body’s submission “pinpointed the three overarching areas of climate action, digitalisation, and education and skills, as critical to supporting Ireland’s national recovery.”
Dr Feighan added: “Engineers Ireland has long campaigned for more strategic and targeted investment in infrastructure. There is also a greater need for the State to partner with the private sector to drive efficiencies and source capital at a time when Ireland is being impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.”
In relation to climate action, Engineers Ireland is calling for a Green New Deal for Ireland to include energy system integration and achieving 70% renewable electricity; a seaport to support offshore wind development; a hydrogen strategy, a radical national retrofit strategy, the re-engineering of our transport system; active State land management and multi-annual funding for water, wastewater and flood risk management, all of which should be reflected in a revised NDP it said.
Additionally, the body, which accredits hundreds of third level engineering courses across the country, has said that Ireland’s higher education system needs a sustainable funding model to respond to current challenges.