Company of the Month August 2019: Energia, investing more than €3bn in renewable energy generation in Ireland

Company of the Month | Mon 2 Sep | Author – Business & Finance
Huntstown bioenergy plant
Huntstown bioenergy plant

Energia Group have been selected as Business & Finance’s Company of the Month for August 2019, as it is set to invest over €3bn in Irish renewable energy generation over the next five years, creating 200 direct new jobs.

The announcement of Energia’s new ‘Positive Energy’ programme was made by Environment Minister Richard Bruton, together with Energia Group CEO Ian Thom, at the official opening of the company’s new Irish headquarters at Blanchardstown in Dublin.

In addition to the 200 new jobs directly created across the Energia Group in areas such as customer energy solutions and renewable technology, up to 5,000 construction jobs are expected to be created over the duration of the programme.

Energia has had operations in Ireland for 20 years and currently employs 800 people across the island.

Laying the groundwork

Group CEO Ian Thom told Business & Finance said the latest investment represents the evolution of the business as it has changed its focus into renewables over the last number of years.

Ian Thom, CEO Energia Group

Ian Thom, CEO Energia Group

“We are laying the groundwork for the future in terms of renewables, the investment is the culmination of a lot of work that we have been doing,” he said.

We see ourselves as the archetype of the modern European utility.”

‘Positive Energy’ is in line with the Government’s commitment to increase the amount of electricity generated from renewable sources from 30% now, to 70% by 2030.

Energia Group anticipates that this new investment will add up to 1.5 Gigawatts (1,500 Megawatts) of renewable generation to the grid over the five year programme.

This will contribute to further sustainability in Ireland’s energy supply and to the achievement of Ireland’s climate change reduction targets.

Attracting talent

In terms of job creation, and filling hundreds of new skilled roles, Mr Thom acknowledges that there is a big demand for talent in Ireland at present.

“We pride ourselves in attracting talent, not only with the amazing things Energia are doing, but also as an exemplary employer,” he said.

The culture of the company is important; it is a great place to work. The way in which we invest in talent is both very focused and flexible.

“Once we’ve identified talent, we look at a range of other opportunities that can open up for people, in areas they may never have thought of themselves. Thinking laterally, that’s how to really make the most of people and talent.”

In 2017, Energia opened what was reported at the time as Ireland’s largest wind farm in Meenadreen, Co Donegal. At 95MW, it aimed at the time to power 50,000 homes. It was developed over the course of 26 months at a cost of €145m.

Meenadreen wind turbine

Meenadreen wind turbine

 

Business & Finance, Company of the Month

Business Person the MonthBusiness & Finance, in association with KPMG, recognises excellence in business through the ‘Company of the Month’ award. The Company of the Month award recognises the company which best demonstrates outstanding business leadership, sustainable growth, innovative strategy, strong financial returns and employee development.