Brian Conroy

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Importance of a strong energy ecosystem in winning new manufacturing FDI


Ireland has built a reputation as a location of choice for high value and highly regulated manufacturing capability.  It forms a critical part of the Irish economy and is particularly important to the development of the regional economy.  Winning future global investment in manufacturing is not guaranteed and the availability and development of a competitive and innovative energy ecosystem is vital to our future success.


  • Importance of manufacturing investment to Ireland
  • Role of energy in winning manufacturing investment
  • Opportunities from new energy technologies


IDA Ireland has responsibility for attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Ireland and promotes Ireland to MNC’s globally through its network of overseas offices. Today there are over 1200 foreign companies based in Ireland utilising the skills of a talented Irish workforce for global business. Key activities carried out in Ireland include high value manufacturing, research and development and global business services.

Manufacturing is a high value, high skills component of the Irish economy and accounts for over 23% of our GDP which is above the EU average of 15%. The majority of manufacturing investment in Ireland is located outside of Dublin and is critical to the economic development of our regions. The Irish Government is committed to developing the energy sector and has recently published both a new White Paper on Energy (October 2015) and a report on developing Ireland as a hub for Energy Research (July 2016).

From an FDI point of view it is very important that Ireland continues to develop its energy capabilities and ecosystem:

  • Multi- national manufacturing investment  requires a reliable and competitive source of energy and increasingly  low carbon energy.
  • Investment in energy efficiency helps to maintain a competitive cost for manufacturing in Ireland.
  • We need to continue to develop Ireland’s capability in energy research as an attractor for new FDI investment and Ireland with its strengths in ICT and energy research is well placed to harness new technologies which improve energy efficiency and develops renewable technologies.
  • Opportunities to win new investment in renewables such as wind, solar, wave and biomass.

Ireland is already recognised as a world class location for research by leading Multi-National companies. This success has been built by offering these companies an R&D ecosystem which is world-class, competitive and collaborative. Ireland is now also playing a prominent role in the global research agenda for renewable energy.

As part of its incentives to FDI companies, IDA offers grant support to companies engaging in energy research activities in Ireland. IDA also supports clients to undertake substantial investments in a wide range of proven energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, where the result is a significant gain in overall cost competitiveness.

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