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Bono and Windmills to save Ireland

Ireland's adversity may be an opportunity to foster new technologies | Business | The Observer

Our panel of economists share their insights into how Ireland might resurrect its stricken economy

Sinéad Pentony
Head of policy at Dublin thinktank TASC

Ireland has huge capacity in terms of renewable energy, particularly in wind and wave. Because of our location on the periphery of Europe, we're the first land to be hit by those winds off the Atlantic. We could be a net exporter of energy. But instead, we're one of the countries in the European Union, most reliant on non-renewable energy. There's some investment in sustainable energy. But it's nothing like sufficient. There needs to be multiples of what's happening now for us to be a significant player.

John Fitzgerald
Research professor, Economic and Social Research Institute

Our cultural exports, bands like U2, are probably not trivial. People have heard of Ireland and are more inclined to do business here because they know something about Ireland, or at least they think they do.

I think keeping corporation tax low has more chance, but then I don't believe in leprechaun and Blarney stones.

Comments

If Ireland had really wanted to make a killing in the energy field, it could have taken a leaf out of the French playbook.

Screw the wind farms.

With all that "eurodough" coming in, they should have taken the big leap and built three or four nuclear power stations along the west coast of the country from Falcarragh down to Sneem. After all, there's nothing else out there.

Then they could have sold power under the Irish Sea to the British and European grids and made a killing.

"Ireland has huge capacity in terms of renewable energy, particularly in wind and wave."

And I'll bet Sinéad doesn't even realize that she is hardly "thinking outside the box" here but merely parrotting the same tired old lines.

Some "thinktank" indeed.

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