Ryan set a 33 per cent renewable energy target for 2020, but McManus has pointed out that a recent study showed he could have pushed for a 42 per cent target.

She added that Ireland could become a world leader in the development of renewable energy, and that visitors to the west of the country would see for themselves the potential for wave energy.

According to a study by national policy and advisory board Forfas, Ireland’s renewable energy sector grew from 4.8 per cent in 2005 to 8.6 per cent in 2006.

The chief executive of Forfas, Martin Cronin, argued that Ireland needs to develop a sustainable supply of energy.

“Electricity is a key input to all services and manufacturing enterprises,” he said. “The cost of electricity in Ireland is now second highest in Europe and this is impacting on the ability of firms to compete in international markets.”

Ben Meggeson

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