Saving fund for public finances

Investment in the renewable energy sector makes sense

Sir, – The proposal by Minister for Finance Michael McGrath to set up a new savings fund based on the predicted windfall of corporation tax receipts is to be welcomed.

As noted by The Irish Times editorial (“Future-proofing public finances”, July 12th), this could go some way towards meeting future public bills such as potential pension and climate costs.

However, rather than creating a passive savings fund, the added suggestion to include a separate investment fund has even greater possibilities.

Indeed, a better use of these tax windfalls would be to invest them in the renewable energy sector through existing semi-State companies such as the ESB and Bord na Móna, with a track record in energy delivery.


Yet in the recent offshore wind auction last May, the successful bidders awarded a contract were either private companies (Fuinneamh Sceirde Teoranta, Saorgus Energy and Fred Olsen Seawind) or foreign state-owned companies (EDF Renewable Group – French – and Statkraft – Norwegian).

Using a national investment fund to own and control all our energy needs would have enormous strategic and economic advantages.

Not least it could deliver cheaper energy costs for businesses and consumers.

Once the initial development and construction costs are met, the inputs into on-shore and off-shore wind turbines are relatively cost effective.

More importantly, it would provide sustainable and secure dividends to government to resource future pension, health and education requirements for the medium and long-term future.

Rather than facing a fearful and daunting future, Irish society could look forward to meeting its climate targets and welfare needs with greater confidence and optimism. – Yours, etc,