Connect with us

Newsdesk

Irish Cities Can Learn from Each Other to Improve Ease of Doing Business

Newsroom

Published

on

Irish cities are among the best performers in the European Union in the areas of starting a business and dealing with construction permits, but they remain behind in the areas of registering property and enforcing contracts, a new World Bank study says.

For the first time, Doing Business in the European Union 2020: Greece, Ireland and Italy benchmarks Doing Business indicators in five areas in four Irish cities in addition to Dublin: Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford. Globally, Ireland has been among the top performers in the ease of Doing Business rankings, represented by Dublin, but this subnational study shows that entrepreneurs face different regulatory hurdles depending on where they establish their businesses, highlighting opportunities for cities to do better by learning from each other.

“Ireland has consistently been among the top performers globally on the ease of doing business, but this first study, which looks at regulatory performance in five cities, identifies areas where the country can do better for local firms, to provide more opportunities not only for their domestic growth but to help them compete in the global economy,” said Jakob Kopperud, World Bank Special Representative to the UK and Ireland.  

The five areas measured are starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, and enforcing contracts. Despite the country’s centralized legal framework, disparities in regulatory performance remain in four out of these five areas, except for starting a business. In the area of starting a business, performance is more even but common bottlenecks remain, such as the registration for value added tax.

Each city stands out in some areas and falls behind in others, according to the study. For instance, Cork and Dublin lead in the areas of enforcing contracts and getting electricity, but are behind in the area of dealing with construction permits. Galway and Limerick lead on the ease of registering property, but are behind in contract enforcement. Waterford leads on the dealing with construction permits area, but is behind in registering property.

“The disparities in performance brought to light by this study can help the government identify which cities have good practices. Local policy makers can look to other cities to see how they implement the national law more efficiently, and improve their own performance,” said Rita Ramalho, Senior Manager of the World Bank’s Global Indicators Group, which produces the report.

For example, the time to deal with construction permits varies from about 5 months in Waterford to almost seven months in Cork while the cost varies from 1.1% of the warehouse value in Galway to almost four times as much in Dublin. There are variations in the time it takes to conduct preplanning meetings and obtain fire safety and disability access certificates with local planning departments, as well as the time to obtain utility connections. The differences in cost are driven mainly by the development contribution fee, which is set independently by each city council.  

Doing Business in the European Union is a series of subnational reports being produced by theWorld Bank Group at the request of and funded by the European Commission. This edition also benchmarks 6 cities in Greece and 13 cities in Italy, besides the 5 cities in Ireland. The report will be published in full in December 2019. A first edition, covering 22 cities in Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania, was released in 2017. A second edition, covering 25 cities in Croatia, the Czech Republic, Portugal and Slovakia, was released in 2018.

The work on Ireland, carried out with the support of the Department of Finance, is based on the same methodology as the global Doing Business report published annually by the World Bank Group.

Continue Reading
Comments

Energy News

IRENA’s Collaborative Framework on Hydropower Takes Shape

Newsroom

Published

on

Advancing the discussion from June 2020, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) held its second meeting of the Collaborative Framework on Hydropower. With more than 100 attendees from 49 Members and States in Accession, the virtual meeting witnessed a high level of engagement to take advantage of the knowledge and expertise that exists within the Agency and its global Membership. The two-hour session was moderated by H.E. Mr. Jean-Christophe Fueeg, Head of International Energy Affairs at the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications of Switzerland.

Today, hydropower is the largest source of renewable energy worldwide, and its development is considered essential in driving the energy transition forward. IRENA Members have, over the years and as recently as the last Assembly, requested IRENA to expand its work on hydropower and facilitate targeted collaboration for the continued deployment of hydropower technologies.

Providing the opening remarks, IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera said: “As an enabler for integrating higher shares of renewable energy into power systems, hydropower is set to play an important role in the energy transition and will be critical to the decarbonisation of economies. Promoting the continued deployment of hydropower has been, and remains, an important part of IRENA’s work.”

IRENA launched the Collaborative Framework on Hydropower to address pressing challenges and seize potential opportunities. During its kick-off meeting in June, Members agreed on the thematic scope of the Collaborative Framework, including the need to ensure the continued development of hydropower in a sustainable manner, the relevance of hydropower as flexibility provider and enabler for the integration of high shares of variable renewables (VRE), the need for adequate remuneration of services through business models and market structures and the role of hydropower in climate resilience. Other topics of interest included innovative solutions and operation and maintenance practices.

Member countries also decided to bring in hydropower stakeholders from the public and private sector as well as intergovernmental and non-governmental actors. In response, the International Hydropower Association (IHA) and the World Bank were invited to the second meeting to discuss their future engagement in the Collaborative Framework with the IRENA membership.

On the basis of proposals by IRENA, Members agreed on the modalities for future meetings, enabling the Collaborative Framework on Hydropower to take further shape.

Continue Reading

Energy News

Renewable Energy Jobs Continue Growth to 11.5 Million Worldwide

Newsroom

Published

on

Renewable energy continues to bring socio-economic benefits by creating numerous jobs worldwide, according to the latest figures released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) today. The seventh edition of Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review shows that jobs in the sector reached 11.5 million globally last year, led by solar PV with some 3.8 million jobs, or a third of the total.

“Adopting renewables creates jobs and boosts local income in both developed and developing energy markets,” said IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera. “While today we see a handful of countries in the lead, each country can harness its renewable potential, take steps to leverage local capabilities for industrial development, and train its workers.”

Last year, sixty-three per cent of all renewables jobs were recorded in Asia, confirming the region’s status as a market leader, the new report reveals. Biofuels jobs followed closely behind solar PV, reaching 2.5 million. Many of these jobs are in the agricultural supply chain, particularly in countries like Brazil, Colombia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, with labour-intensive operations. Other large employers in the renewables sector are the hydropower and wind industries, with close to 2 million and 1.2 million jobs, respectively.

Renewables jobs have shown more inclusion and a better gender balance than fossil fuels. The report highlights that women held 32 per cent of total renewables jobs, as opposed to 21 per cent in fossil fuels sectors.

Although precise estimates remain scarce and absolute numbers are small for now, off-grid renewables are creating growing employment, led by solar technology. Decentralised renewable energy can also propel productive uses in rural areas. This job multiplier effect can be seen in farming and food processing, healthcare, communications, and local commerce.

Comprehensive policies, led by education and training measures, labour market interventions, and industrial policies that support the leveraging of local capacities, are essential for sustaining the renewables jobs expansion.

The 2020 edition of the Annual Review highlights promising initiatives to support the education and training of workers. Such efforts revolve around vocational training, curricula-building, teacher training, the use of information and communications technology, promotion of innovative public-private partnerships, and recruitment of under-represented groups such as women.

Policymakers must also prioritise reskilling for fossil fuel sector workers who have lost or are at risk of losing their livelihoods. Many have considerable skills and expertise to contribute to a reoriented, clean energy industry.

The world has seen encouraging growth in renewables jobs. But it can bring about much larger employment by adopting a comprehensive policy framework that drives the energy transition. Never has the importance of such a push been clearer than at this momentous juncture. Even as the world is still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, humanity receives near-daily reminders of what lies in store if we fail to address the gathering climate disruptions.

The need to chart a different course is undeniable, as are the benefits to be reaped. IRENA’s recently-released Post-COVID Recovery Agenda found that an ambitious stimulus programme could create up to 5.5 million more jobs over the next three years than a business-as-usual approach. Such an initiative would also allow the world to stay on track for creating the 42 million renewables jobs that the agency’s Global Renewables Outlook projects for 2050.

Read the full report

Continue Reading

Energy News

Pakistan Making Shift to Clean Power Production and Lower Energy Costs

Newsroom

Published

on

Today, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved $450 million in financing to support Pakistan’s transition to renewable energy resources that reduce its reliance on fossil fuel imports and lower costs of electricity production.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Hydropower and Renewable Energy Development Project will help shift the national energy mix to domestic clean resources by investing in renewable energy generation, including hydropower and solar, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. It will also help strengthen energy sector institutions to better manage a growing portfolio of renewable energy projects across the province.

“This project supports Pakistan’s goal to become a low-carbon, renewable energy-reliant economy by 2030 and contributes to its national target in reducing greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change,” said Najy Benhassine, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan. “It will facilitate the expansion of renewable energy in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by identifying and preparing solar and hydropower projects that are technically sound, environmentally and socially sustainable, and investment ready.”

The project will provide low-cost and low-carbon electricity to consumers and will support the economic development of those communities near the hydropower and solar projects by revitalizing infrastructure, creating jobs, and supporting the development of tourism activities.

“To scale up renewable energy in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the project includes a comprehensive skills training program to build technical capacity in identifying investment opportunities, preparing projects, and mobilizing commercial financing,” said Mohammad Saqib, Task Team Leader for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Hydropower and Renewable Energy Development project. “In addition, by installing solar photovoltaic systems onto hydropower assets, production capacity is expected to rise and generate greater return on investments.” 

Continue Reading

Publications

Latest

Trending