Ireland has the natural resources to become a world leader in the production of green energy, according to Minister Eamon Ryan.

The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources made the comments following a meeting with some 70 representatives from across the Irish energy sector.

He said 12,000 people already work in this area but this can be increased given the resources available.

However he said the renewable energy targets set out by the Government in the Energy White Paper published last Spring remain the same.

The aim is to have one-third of Ireland's energy coming from renewable sources by 2020.

Mr Ryan said these targets 'should be the start of our ambitions rather than their limits'.