Green economy

Northern Ireland is leveraging its recognised expertise in engineering, technology, and construction to deliver into the low carbon and net zero sector.

It is an ideal partner for international markets seeking comprehensive collaborations to capitalise on global net zero opportunities and drive impactful economic growth.

With an abundance of natural resources and a commitment to innovative sustainable solutions supported by government policies, Northern Ireland has fostered an ecosystem that enables the development, production and export of cutting-edge green technologies. 

Northern Ireland not only harnesses efficient resource management and conservation but also focuses on tackling key issues to deliver against global net zero targets. 60% of Northern Ireland’s manufacturing companies are selling into the green economy and generating £1.5bn turnover and £230m exports.

Northern Ireland is home to a vibrant ecosystem and a collaborative supply chain dedicated to building world leading net zero solutions.

  • The low carbon sector employs more than 12,000 people in over 300 companies and has an annual turnover in excess of £1.7 bn.

  • We are a leader in the connection of distributed renewable energy to the grid with almost 50% of all energy used in the region coming from a renewable energy source.

  • The ICT sector in Northern Ireland had a turnover of £2.5bn in 2019, a GVA of £1.6bn, and 23,000 employee jobs.

  • The waste sector in Northern Ireland had a turnover of £1.1bn in 2019, a GVA of £0.8bn, and 7,000 employee jobs.

Northern Ireland Green Assets

Northern Ireland is rich in valuable assets and is poised to become a leader in green manufacturing, technology and innovation. It’s unique asset base consists of:

  • A modern gas network, interconnection to both Ireland and Great Britain
  • Home to a world-leading renewable grid system with 45% of all electricity provided by renewables and a further £2bn of planned infrastructure spend being considered
  • Four million mega litres of rechargeable water available from underground aquafers annually
  • Access to four ports, with Northern Ireland being home to the only dedicated purpose-built port facility for offshore renewables on the island of Ireland
  • The region has three airports with daily direct flights to a variety of Great Britain and European business locations
  • The island of Ireland’s only availability of salt cavern storage for natural gas capable of providing 25% of the UK’s capacity
  • The Windsor Framework enhances Northern Ireland’s already strong proposition with the region being able to trade goods freely with both the UK and the EU 

Area of expertise

Northern Ireland has a number of areas of expertise including:

World-class research centres of excellence

The growth of the green economy and the net-zero carbon goal are heavily reliant upon research, development and innovation.  R&D in Northern Ireland is reliant upon research centres such as those listed below, to develop efficient and clean technology.

These include:

Industry/academic clusters/collaborative projects

There is also a number of industry and academic cluster and collaborative projects that are developing strong expertise and market opportunities.

These include:

Northern Ireland for foreign direct investment

Northern Ireland is an attractive place for investment in the renewables and energy sector thanks to a combination of factors including skills availability, excellent infrastructure, cost-effectiveness and a supportive business environment. To find out more, visit our Invest in Northern Ireland section.

Find out more about the Green Economy

Please get in touch.  You can find a team in your region or fill in an enquiry form and a member of the team will contact you directly.

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