The Irish Climate Tech Opportunity 2023

A new report by PwC and SustainabilityWorks titled ‘The Irish Climate Tech Opportunity 2023’ showcases some of Ireland’s innovative climate tech entrepreneurs whose solutions will help make net zero a reality.

However, the challenge is a daunting one with just seven years to halve our greenhouse gas emissions and until 2050 to reach net zero.

What is climate tech?

Climate tech is defined as technologies that are explicitly focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions or addressing the impacts of climate change. Its applications can be grouped into three broad, sector-agnostic groups:

  1. Those that directly mitigate or remove emissions.

  2. Those that help us adapt to the impacts of climate change.

  3. Those that enhance our understanding of the climate.

A photo of a windmill in front of a cloudy sky


In speaking to 36 of Ireland’s leading climate tech innovators and entrepreneurs, certain sectoral trends became apparent:

The rapid growth of mature technologies, such as wind and solar, illustrates the potential of clean energy technologies to reduce emissions. However, net zero emissions will require far greater scale and must encompass the mass rollout of other clean energy solutions at an earlier stage of development, such as hydrogen and carbon capture.

In Ireland, the energy sector has traditionally been the most popular with entrepreneurs and investors, driven largely by European and Irish climate and energy policy. Recent issues in relation to energy security are also creating market demand for new solutions, particularly in the areas of renewable energy proliferation, alternative fuels and grid management.

To eliminate the construction sector’s carbon footprint, buildings and materials must become more efficient, smarter and cheaper. It is also clear that small-scale efficiencies, such as improvements in heating, lighting or appliances, will play a role.

Traditionally, the built sector in Ireland has been slow to adopt new practices and technologies. However, challenges such as net zero carbon targets, supply chain issues and escalating costs are disrupting the status quo and creating new opportunities for innovation within construction and smart building management.


Alternative foods and low-greenhouse gas proteins is a globally maturing market, as is vertical and urban farming. Value chain greenhouse gas reduction is also receiving more focus with technology aimed at reducing emissions in food supply chains and the creation of more sustainable packaging solutions that extend shelf life.

FALU is one of the most up-and-coming Irish climate tech sectors, driven by the urgency to decarbonise Ireland’s economy which is heavily dependent on agriculture. This translates to a host of opportunities across a range of areas including low greenhouse gas farming and new food production methods that harness the bioeconomy.

Electric vehicles now account for over ten million vehicles globally and 4.6% of global annual car sales. However, continued growth in passenger and freight activity could outweigh all decarbonisation efforts unless transport emissions can be decoupled from GDP growth.

One of the lesser developed sectors from an innovation perspective, Ireland is now beginning to see an emergence of climate tech for mobility. Current innovation is focused on the electrification of road transport as well as increasing the attractiveness and efficiency of alternative mobility options. R&D in battery technology and hydrogen is also starting to emerge in Ireland.

In addition to circular business models, governmental and corporate net zero targets are driving the effective use of energy and resources. These targets are focusing minds on the development of low greenhouse gas metals, with some in the private sector setting 2030 and 2050 net zero steel procurement commitments.

Irish entrepreneurs are recognising the limitations within supply chains to access virgin materials and are responding with new technology and business models to ensure efficient use of all resources—energy, water and raw materials. The global circularity trend is core to many of these new technologies and business models.

It is abundantly clear that the rate of decarbonisation worldwide must accelerate if countries are to have a fighting chance of meeting ambitious net zero targets. In this report, we are delighted to introduce you to 36 innovative Irish businesses making progress in the climate tech space to help us reach our net zero destination.

Contact us

David McGee

ESG Leader, PwC Ireland (Republic of)

Tel: +353 86 268 1522

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