Today in the pressThursday 28 March 2013 12.36
Ireland could cater for 12% of the EU’s energy demands through renewable energy exports, according to a report in The Irish Examiner. The Irish Wind Energy Association’s annual conference heard that the main challenge for building a wind energy industry of that scale was public acceptability. Andrew Garrad, President of the European Wind Energy Association, said Ireland could create a “jobs-rich” industry but it still lacks the infrastructure, interconnection and policy frame work. Bord na Móna’s Gabriel D’Arcy compared the potential of the wind to Ireland’s food industry, which creates more than is needed and so can export to others.
Merchant services group Grafton has bought English company Thompson Building Centres for €3.8m, reports The Irish Times. The Sunderland-based company was founded 60 years ago and is strong in the English northeast, the newspaper says. However it was placed into administration earlier this month, with Irish company Grafton now moving to acquire it. Grafton owns Woodie’s and Atlantic Homecare and reported profits of €33m at the start of the year.
An IT issue has seen thousands of MBNA credit cards being rejected, with their customers unable to access online accounts, according to The Irish Independent. The issue has arisen because of a change in IT systems, which is being undertaken by the company’s new owners. MBNA was bought by a US firm last year and is now known as Avant-Card. The IT upgrade is part of an attempt to link the former MBNA in Co Leitrim with AvantCard’s Spanish operations. With the company focused on completing this transition, it has not been seeking new card business for some time. The Central Bank said it was aware of the issues but declined to comment to the newspaper.
Google's futuristic eyewear product - Google Glass - will be manufactured in the United States, reports The Financial Times. The search company is working with Taiwanese firm Foxconn - known for its leading role in the manufacturing of Apple's iPhone and iPad - to have the product assembled in California. This follows Apple's pledge to begin production of one of its computer products in the US this year. The news will be a boost for US President Barack Obama's aim to revitalise the country's manufacturing industry, the newspaper says, with the aim being to ensure that the latest cutting edge technologies are 'Made In The US'. Google Glass is intended to act as a constantly-viewable screen that people wear like glasses, which allows them to access and interact with a range of services.