John Travers told an audience at the launch of his new book, Green & Gold – Ireland a Clean Energy World Leader, the country’s natural resources can give it total energy independence.

He said: “Clean energy can help rescue Ireland from its current economic and energy challenges.

“In achieving energy independence, Ireland can become an outstanding world leader and a global beacon for the use of clean energy.

“Ireland is endowed with winds that are among the strongest in the world and the waves that crash against our western seaboard are some of the most powerful on the planet.

“Harnessing these and other clean energy sources such as solar and biomass offers Ireland a golden opportunity to overcome the energy challenge it faces.”

Mr Travers, a chartered engineer and chief executive of Alternative Energy Resources, pointed out Ireland has more than three times its total energy requirements available from readily accessible renewable energy sources on its own doorstep.

But it remains heavily dependent on foreign fossil fuels, importing almost 90% of its energy needs.

As they run out, Ireland can develop its own natural resources to become energy independent and a world leader in clean energy use, he said at last Thursday’s (August 12) launch at University College Dublin (UCD).

A comprehensive move to clean energy would also prove an economic boon.

“There is the potential to create almost 100,000 jobs from harnessing renewable energy and applying energy efficiency activities,” said Mr Travers, an engineering graduate of University College Dublin and a MBA graduate of Harvard University.

The book claims some 20% of total Irish energy needs can be met by renewable energy within the next ten years and 80% by 2050 while 20% of Irish Gross Domestic Product can come from clean energy imports.

David Gibbs

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