Ireland’s much-hyped offshore wind industry could be worth at least €38bn to the Irish economy, according to a new report launched on Tuesday at Wind Energy Ireland’s annual conference in Dublin.

However, significant investment in training and skills development will be needed to maximise the economic benefit to Ireland from the development of offshore wind farms in order to deliver the target of 37GW of offshore wind energy by 2050.

While there is already a growing number of Irish companies involved in offshore wind energy, including some competing internationally, the industry will need far more workers if it is to achieve the targets set by Government.

'Top priority'

Speaking about the launch of the report, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD said: “Developing green skills and green jobs has become a top priority of mine and my department.

“This will shape my department’s work and ambition with stakeholders across Government, the public sector, the tertiary education sector and industry, as we look to build the skills we need to deliver a greener, more sustainable future."

Wind Energy Ireland CEO Noel Cunniffe said: “Our offshore wind industry is a huge economic opportunity for Ireland.

"By investing in the right training programmes and taking a proactive approach to skills development, we can cut our carbon emissions, cut electricity bills and create jobs.”