Irish Energy Use & CO2 emissions increased last year

According to a recent report published by the SEAI, provisional energy figures for 2015 show mixed results in terms of Ireland’s transition to a low-carbon energy economy. Ireland’s overall energy use and related CO2 emissions both increased by roughly 5%. While this increase was lower than economic growth at nearly 8% it signals a re-coupling of energy and economic growth. In the same period Ireland’s use of renewables for power, heat and transport increased by 13%.

The competing forces of Ireland’s energy system were particularly evident in the power generation sector. On the one hand wind generated electricity increased by 28%, accounting for over one fifth of all electricity in 2015. However this was offset by increased use of coal and peat in non-renewable electricity generation and a reduction in total electricity imports. The net effect was a marginal increase in the carbon intensity of electricity generation.

Commenting on the figures Dr Eimear Cotter, SEAI Head of Low Carbon Technologies said “These figures show the complexity of our energy system and the interplay of economic growth, renewable energy deployment and fossil fuel prices. Progress made in renewable energy deployment could be easily undone if we fail to decouple energy use from economic growth and accelerate the move away from fossil fuels, in particular high emissions-intensive fuels such as coal and peat. We need continued progress in energy efficiency in our homes and businesses and an increase in the use of renewables across all technologies in our energy system”.


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June 13th, 2016