Ireland is sitting on a potential multi-million euro industry in the renewable energy sector, delegates attending a major worldwide convention in Co Mayo later this month will be told.
Special focus will be placed on enterprise and employment in the renewable energy sector at the 11th Mayo Associations Worldwide Convention in Westport.
The convention (May 27-29 ) follows the theme of ‘Power by Land and Sea – a Future for our People’, and it will facilitate debate on what appear to be excellent prospects for Mayo, and the country as a whole, in the renewable energy sector.
In addition to the substantial gas reserves off the coast, Mayo is also blessed with some of the finest renewable energy resources in the world, which present opportunities to exploit vast amounts of wind, ocean, and solar energy. According to industry expert James Ryan: “Ireland has the potential to become the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy.”
Speaking at the launch of the convention in Westport last week Seán Reid, chairperson of the organising committee, said: “The convention’s theme has been selected to promote public discourse about an area that has huge potential for Mayo and Ireland, and hopefully some interesting and valuable proposals will emerge.”
Supporting the event is Mayo county manager Peter Hynes who stated: “Mayo has been chosen as a national test site for wave power, which is a great boost for the county, and illustrates that significant developments are still taking place here.”
Industry expert James Ryan added: “There is potential to not just supply for ourselves, but also to export power to the UK and mainland Europe.
“We have the potential to become the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy for Europe. There is also the opportunity to become a major supplier of technologies and expertise which means Ireland can become a significant player in both the renewable energy and marine engineering sectors.”
The convention, which will be officially opened by President Mary McAleese on Saturday, May 28, will feature workshops on indigenous and multi-national enterprise in Mayo. It will be open to the public.
Some 100 delegates from Mayo associations all over the world will be in attendance along with guest of honour An Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Delegates will travel from New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Toronto, London, Manchester, Leeds, Luton, Calderdale (UK ), Coventry, Australia, Galway, Dublin, Sligo and Limerick.
The event is being jointly organised by the Mayo associations in Galway and Dublin. “We are looking forward to welcoming Mayo people from all over the world. This convention has proven very valuable in the past, and we are very hopeful that this year’s convention will play its part in promoting Mayo’s emerging renewable energy industry,” said Donal Downes, who has been involved in all 10 previous conventions.
Westport Town Council chairperson Cllr Teresa McGuire will accord the convention a civic reception on Friday, May 27, in the town council offices.
More details on the convention will be revealed over the coming weeks, and updates will also be provided at this link: www.mayoassociationdublin.com/worldconvention htm