Energy Cork has grown to a cluster with 85 member organisations, from energy utilities, oil & gas companies, energy suppliers, energy management companies
Energy Cork seeks to stimulate and support economic development and job creation in the energy sector. The Cluster is active across all aspects of the sector. The structure of Energy Cork is a response to the needs of members and vision of the cluster’s founders in the organisation’s constitution. Steering Group – providing management and strategic direction to the Cluster. Led by the Energy Cork Chairperson. 14 industry members (7 SME and 7 non-SME elected) and 14 other members representing local and regional government, development agencies, academic and research partners. The cluster employs one full time cluster manager.

The Cluster has 5 key working groups: (1) Energy Supply Sub Group – Production, supply, transportation, storage, sale, generation of energy, energy services and fuels. (2) Built Environment Sub Group – Energy use in buildings (residential, commercial, industrial, institutional), energy-efficient technology, energy management systems. (3) Transport Sub Group – Energy use in the transport sector, promoting public transport and other low or zero-carbon transport options. (4) Climate & Environment Sub Group – The impact of energy use on climate change and environment. (5) Cleantech Finance.

Resources needed

Membership Fees + Support from Local Authorities + Other Income. Approximately €80,000 annually; of which Membership Fees account for 7%.

Income: 93% Public Funding (26% EU & 69% Cork City and County Councils) 7% Private (Membership Fees).

Staff: (1 FTE as Cluster Manager) + Volunteer Staff

Evidence of success

• Developed a stable and active networking forum of 85 firms in Cork’s energy sector
• Organising annual conferences, bi-monthly workshops and trade missions focused on delivering for members
• Promoting, attracting and meeting with potential FDI clients regarding Cork’s suitability for doing business
• Assisting local authorities with Covenant of Mayors SECAP
• Founding Energy Champion CLG & co-ordinating an application for European Green Capital
• Participation in EU’s Climate-KIC program

Difficulties encountered

Connecting with other clusters across Europe and interested partners can be a key learning practice for the cluster management and executive board. The ECCP organises inter-European matchmaking events, as well as opportunities for clusters to meet peers from the EU or internationally.

Potential for learning or transfer

Cluster initiatives are managed by specialised institutions - cluster organisations, which range from non-profit associations, through public agencies to companies. Cluster Organisations provides services to the member firms. Examples of cluster organisations and the significant benefits to their regions are available on

Energy Cork balances their activities between job creation / member’s services / education and training / participation in European projects, and interacting with civil society to promote energy awareness. Energy Cork assists IDA Ireland in encouraging FDI opportunities to Cork – as a relevant industry cluster builds confidence and helps decision making in potential FDI companies. Energy Cork’s success has led to Enterprise Ireland (EI) supporting significant clustering initiatives across Ireland. Results of EI’s first funding call were published 0n 1/12/17, with support for Agri-food, Biotech and Fintech clusters.

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Main institution
Energy Cork
Border, Midland and Western, Ireland (Éire)
Start Date
January 2009
End Date


John Hobbs Please login to contact the author.

Good Practices being followed by

John Hobbs

Cork institute of Technology