Renewable energy use in the Republic of Ireland increased by 10% last year, whilst the consumption of fossil fuels fell by 1.2%. That’s according to provisional energy data for 2014 published by the country’s Sustainable Energy Authority. The data also shows that primary energy use fell by 0.4%, despite the country’s economy growing by 4.8%.
Wind accounted for 18% of electricity generated and was the second most significant source of electricity after natural gas. Renewable’s total electricity share (22.6%) now contributes nearly as much energy as coal and peat combined (23.1%). This had the effect of lowering the carbon intensity of electricity generation, measured in grams of CO2 per kilowatt-hour of electrical output, to a record low of 457gCO2/kWh. Overall CO2 emissions fell by 0.8%.
Commenting on the figures Dr Eimear Cotter, SEAI Head of Low Carbon Technologies said, “These figures show that Ireland is on the right path towards a lower carbon energy system with less energy needed to maintain and even grow economic output. The timely publication of these figures for 2014 is part of the continuing focus by SEAI to provide high quality and accessible information to inform policy and decision-making”.