The Infrastructure Capacity and Demand Analysis draws on available data and information to provide a detailed overview of the extent and quality of public infrastructure in key sectors (including transport, health, education, water, energy, broadband, housing and flood defences) and the primary drivers of projected future demand in order to support and contribute to the decision-making process on prioritisation. The paper contributes to the evidence base assembled through the Capital Review process and provides a number of findings including:
On average over the period 1995-2015, Ireland’s public GFCF as a share of GNP was 3.7% compared to the EU15 average of 3.0% of GDP. Following a decrease in line with the economic downturn, the level is expected to return to around the EU15 average in 2021.
There are a variety of drivers which impact the use of infrastructure. Two critical drivers are demographics and economic growth, while spatial and climate impacts are important considerations.
The sectoral analysis shows a number of trends including:
o Transport demand is growing and would be expected to expand further in future years in line with forecast economic growth rates.
o In the Health sector, a continued shift towards primary care can help meet the growing demands of an ageing population; further research is required to assess overall capacity needs.
o In Education, the number of students set to attend third level will increase which may exert further pressure on capacity.
o Significant pressure is evident in the housing sector. Commitments made under the Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness mean that €5.35 billion will be invested in 47,000 units across a range of delivery mechanisms. Furthermore, housing output delivered by the private sector is expected to pick up over the coming years.
o Planned investment by Irish Water out to 2021 seeks to strike a balance between the demand for water infrastructure investment and the constraints that currently exist in terms of affordability, planning requirements and supply chain issues.
The publication is available here