CORK’S growing wind sector could play a vital role in helping Ireland to achieve its national renewable energy targets set out in the Climate Action Plan, according to Foreign Affairs and Defence Minister Simon Coveney.
The minister made the comments while launching a new report in Cork yesterday looking at the positive impacts of wind energy.
The Powering Cork report, by Wind Energy Ireland, said that Cork is increasingly a hub for major Irish and international wind energy companies.
Speaking at the launch of the report, Mr Coveney said that wind projects also present “significant” employment opportunities in the county.
“It has never been more vital that we utilise our wind resources in Ireland to create renewable energy and ensure the security of our own energy supply,” said Mr Coveney.
“Alongside moving to greater energy independence, onshore and offshore wind present significant opportunities in Cork and across Ireland in job creation, investment in the local economy, and rural and coastal community support.
“Cork’s growing wind sector can play a vital role in helping us to achieve our national renewable energy targets set out in the Climate Action Plan.”
The report also noted that wind farms paid around €7.2m in commercial rates to Cork County Council in 2022 while Cork communities received €437,000 in direct community benefit funding in 2020.
Wind Energy Ireland CEO Noel Cunniffe said: “Wind farms in Cork are creating jobs, supporting rural communities, and investing in Cork’s economy.
“An enormous opportunity now exists for a whole new industrial sector to emerge in Cork — a wind energy sector which can benefit everyone.
“The funds provided in rates help Cork County Council to provide vital public services.
“But the report also looks to the future, when offshore wind energy will be the key driver of Ireland’s economic strategy, and provide opportunities for harbours like Cork Harbour, Castletownbere, and Bantry.”