Ireland needs a further €5bn of capital investment between now and 2020 to meet its renewable energy targets, according to a report from Irish stockbrokers Davy.
The construction of 3GW-3.5GW of onshore wind power is required by the country to meet its 2020 European Union (EU) climate change targets.
Both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland have set targets to generate 40% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
Davy analysts Barry Dixon, Caren Crowley and David McNamara have estimated in their recent report that this will require the construction of wind farms capable of generating up to 3,500MW of electricity, in addition to the existing renewable generators.
The report also reveals that investment is expected to favour the nation's existing utilities and established large-scale industry players.
"Accordingly, scarce capital is more likely to be channelled into projects via the utilities and larger, more experienced project developers," the report notes.
The analysts said that the four existing energy utilities - ESB, Bord Gáis Energy, SSE Ireland and Viridian - which currently dominate the all-island electricity market are best placed to support continued delivery of onshore wind capacity.
Davy suggests that other players, including Element Power, Mainstream Renewable Energy and State-owned Bord na Móna and Coillte, are likely to feature.