Clean energy 'can solve climate and fuel problems'
Clean energy will provide the solution to the problems of climate change and fossil fuel availability, according to minister for communications, energy and natural resources Eamon Ryan.Speaking at the Economist Business Roundtable, Mr Ryan said that the government's economic plans were focused on moving away from fossil fuels.
He said: "The energy challenges we face are intimately tied to the availability of fossil fuels and climate change. Part of the answer to both of these challenges lies in a strategic retreat away from fossil fuels and towards clean energy.
"The current Government has prioritised this retreat in our economic planning. Where there is retreat from the old ways, there are opportunities for the new. The Government is positioning Ireland as a centre for sustainable economic growth."
Mr Ryan added that Ireland has some of the best natural resources in the world and that the government was committed to realising the potential. It has set a 40% target for renewables by 2020.
He also noted that investment in clean energy reached $148bn last year, a 60% rise compared to a year earlier.
Earlier this week, Mr Ryan defended the decision by the Green Party to support Government on cut backs in education announced in the budget this month.