Ireland’s renewable energy use needs to more than double in the next 8 years to meet jobs potential and binding energy targets says SEAI Chief
~ Renewable energy saved 3.6 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in Ireland in 2011 ~
3rd July 2012 – Launching a proposed new guide to help local authorities expedite renewable energy developments, the Chief Executive of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), Dr Brian Motherway said that if Ireland is to meet its binding targets to year 2020, cut €1 billion in annual fossil fuel imports, save over 8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions and support 13,000 jobs in the process, we need to more than double our use of renewable energy over the next 8 years.
“These benefits are well worth chasing but delivering is no easy task. To make this happen, many organisations will need to work together.” Dr. Motherway added.
“It is important that the planning process is well equipped to facilitate the pace of development of wind generation capacity. This is why SEAI has been working in partnership with representative bodies to develop a new guide that will encourage all local authorities to adopt a structured and consistent framework for renewable energy planning. This will provide clear signals to renewable energy developers and help ensure that projects are delivered more quickly, in the right places and in the right way, in accordance with good planning and environmental practice. ”
Continuing, Dr Motherway said: “Ireland has been successful in its development of renewable energy to date, having trebled its usage in the past twelve years. The growth in wind energy deployment especially is a real success story, and we’ve shown that we can deliver. We now need to continue that push to achieve our binding national target of 16% of energy supply from renewables, and reap the obvious economic and societal benefits.”
Statistics also published by SEAI today show that the share of national energy demand met from renewable energy grew by 20% during 2011 and now stands at 6.5%. This growth was mainly in wind energy production which accounted for almost half of the renewable contribution in 2011. Last year the displacement of fossil fuel by renewable energy equated to an avoidance of almost €400 million in fossil fuel imports and 3.6 million tonnes of CO2 emissions – equivalent to the annual energy needs of almost 350,000 homes.
Concluding, Brian Motherway said: “As well as local authorities developing integrated renewable energy strategies, we need to encourage the industry to engage appropriately with local communities and address any concerns they may have. This will be important to enhancing community acceptance of projects and enabling the contribution of renewables to continue to grow at pace to year 2020 and well beyond. ”
Download copies of Renewable Energy in Ireland 2011.pdf (size 1.6 MB) and A Methodology for Local Authority Renewable Energy Strategies (Draft for Consultation).pdf (size 388.8 KB) in PDF format.
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has a mission to play a leading role in the transformation of Ireland to a society based on sustainable energy structures, technologies and practices. SEAI is partly financed by Ireland’s EU Structural Funds Programme co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Union.
Notes to Editor:
The Government’s renewable electricity target for 2020 equates to approximately 4,000 Megawatts (MW) of installed generation capacity, while current capacity is 1,900 MW. Reaching our combined renewable electricity (40%), heat (12%) and transport (10%) targets by 2020 would allow Ireland save €1 billion in fossil fuel imports and avoid over 8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in that year, while supporting over 13,000 jobs in the process.
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