The report by National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway) found that the turnover generated by Irish marine renewable energy sector in 2016 was €59 million, representing an increase in activity of 119% between 2014 and 2016.
Results from the report published by NUI Galway’s Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU) show that in 2016, the direct economic value of Ireland’s ocean economy was €1.8 billion or approximately 0.9% of gross domestic product (GDP), which represents a 20% increase on 2014 levels.
The marine renewable energy sector, comprising offshore wind, tidal and wave production and services, generated €27 million in 2014, with the total gross value add (GVA) at €15 million, the report states.
Turnover increased between 2012 and 2014 by 70%, with a 78% increase in GVA in the same period.
In 2014, the employment in the sector was 401 full time equivalents (FTEs), which shows an increase of 64% on 2012 figures, when the employment in the sector was at 245.
The report states that the GVA in 2016 increased by an estimated 147% to €38 million, together with the employment rates which also rose 13% in the 2014-2016 period, reaching 454 FTEs.
Welcoming the publication of the report, Peter Heffernan, CEO of Ireland’s Marine Institute, said: “The very latest figures on Ireland’s Ocean Economy from SEMRU at NUI Galway show that Ireland’s ‘blue economy’ continues to outperform the general economy.
“These very timely marine economic statistics are a key action of the Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth Strategy and are essential for evidence-based policy making and decision making. It’s really encouraging to see that established sectors are performing so well, and that emerging sectors such as advanced marine technology products and services and renewable energy are experiencing rapid growth in Ireland’s ocean economy.”
Established marine industries had a turnover of €5.3 billion and provided employment to 28,231 FTEs in 2016, representing 93% of the total turnover and 94% of total employment in Ireland’s ocean economy in 2016, according to the report.