Ireland’s energy targets on track

Ireland remains on course to meet its renewable energy targets by 2020, according to latest industry findings, but remains too reliant on imported fossil fuels for its energy needs.

The annual Energy in Ireland report — published yesterday by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland — found overall energy use here fell 4.6% in 2012, with the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the typical home 40% less than 20 years ago.

Last year the country saved €300m on fuel imports for electricity generation purposes, but its overall fossil fuel bill, when transport, building and heating needs are combined, hit €6.5bn.

Almost one fifth of Irish electricity now comes from renewable sources. Electricity generation from renewable sources has increased eight-fold since 1990.

“The energy productivity of Ireland’s economy has been improving steadily over recent years, with progress in all sectors. We are moving in the right direction, but there is no room for complacency. We still import 85% of our energy and this bill grew to €6.5bn in 2012.

“This underlines the need to move from imported fossil fuels to indigenous renewables, and to achieve further efficiency gains,” chief executive Brian Motherway said.

“We need to achieve even greater savings with further investment in energy upgrades, not only in our homes but in all buildings. Investing in energy efficiency, particularly in our buildings sector, can play an important role in our economic recovery by supporting jobs and strengthening business competitiveness.”

Overall, the authority said that while yet to be confirmed, Ireland is likely to have met its greenhouse gas emissions targets for the last four year period, although challenges remain for it to meet its 2020 targets in this regard.

By 2020, 40% of electricity must come from renewables; with 12% of heat and 10% of transport. Currently, we’re around halfway to the targets for heating and electricity and 40% there for transport. Source: The Irish Examiner.