Glasgow renewable companies look to Ireland amid Brexit mood of hostility

Nathanael Williams

Company invests in solar farms in Northern Ireland and the Republic but fears the effect of brexit on business

NEO ENVIRONMENTAL (NE), an ecological, engineering and solar power firm, has secured contracts for the development of one 50 MW (Megawatts) and one 70 MW solar farm in Ireland, which, when finished, will be two of the largest in the country.

The company based in Glasgow is expanding further into the Irish renewables market and has expressed grave fears about the effect of brexit on green technology. Numerous industries have expressed concern of the economic impacts of brexit since the UK’s vote to leave the European Union (EU) in June.

Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland launch a Celtic union of renewable energy

Speaking to CommonSpace, a spokesperson for NE said: “Right now our project pipeline is good. There have always been sound prospects, especially because we make sure we have a diverse sets of skills as a company. We do surveys of the land and archaeological digs to prepare an area for a renewable project – as well as the project itself.

“But there is a tangible fear. We’re all conscious of what the vote will mean for the industry. On the other hand, we are of course based in Glasgow but – the prospects for growing in Ireland are far better going forward.”

According to the Energy Information Administration in the US a typical coal plant gives out 600MW per year, however ths comes with a considerable amount of pollution and waste. Advocates of solar farms say that the level of investment put into coal and oil at the turn of the last century needs to be invested into small, midsize and large renewable projects.

In recent years campaigners, investors and Scottish politicians have expressed their disappointment at the cuts to subsidies made by the UK Government and expressed fears about their lack of ambition for the renewables industry. This was heightened after the abolition of the department of energy and climate change.

The spokesperson added: “We operate mostly in the UK and Republic of Ireland (ROI) for now, but if we are to expand work in the EU the situation would have to improve in terms what trade and support will look like in the future.”

Picture courtesy of Andreina Schoberline

Check out what people are saying about how important CommonSpace is. Pledge your support today.