For second year running, energy use down despite economic growth

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) released national energy figures today, which show that Ireland is making good progress in the move to a low-carbon economy.


26th November 2015: The report, Energy in Ireland 1990-2014, highlights how for the second year running Ireland's economic growth has been achieved with an overall reduction in energy use.

Energy in Ireland Highlights for the year 2014

  • While GDP grew by 5.2% in 2014, energy use fell 0.5% and CO2 emissions fell 1.2%
  • Transport remains the largest energy consuming sector at 42% , followed by residential at 23% and industry at 21%
  • Ireland's import dependency is 85% costing the economy €5.7billion
  • The use of renewables in electricity generation avoided energy imports of €255million and reduced CO2 emissions by 2.6 million tonnes.

Commenting on the new analysis of energy trends in Ireland that was launched today, Dr Brian Motherway, outgoing CEO of SEAI said:

"This is welcome data ahead of the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris next week. The analysis shows us clearly where we are still too dependent on fossil fuel fuels and where we are becoming less so. It has been so positive to see economic recovery in Ireland, and it is hugely encouraging to see that this growth has been achieved with an overall reduction (albeit modest) in energy use, demonstrating the impact of energy efficiency actions across the economy."

The report improves understanding of sectoral contributions to energy use. In particular, transport and industry energy use increased in 2014, albeit below the sectoral growth rates themselves. Commenting Dr Motherway said: "We must increase momentum to reduce the overall energy intensity of our economy, which will deliver cost savings, energy security and reduce environmental impact."

Providing comprehensive information on energy trends for Ireland over a 24 year period, the report shows where we get our energy from and where it is used. On electricity generation, he noted:
"Renewable energy use continued to grow with 23% of electricity now from renewables, this resulted in the lowest ever carbon content of electricity generation. In fact, without renewables, power generation emissions would have been 23% higher in 2014."

Concluding, "COP21 is expected to deliver a major step forward on global action on climate change. Last year over €400 billion was spent globally in the clean energy sector and this figure will rise exponentially if Paris delivers. This is a significant opportunity for Ireland if the country continues to play to its strengths."

The full report Energy in Ireland 1990-2014 and accompanying infographic can be downloaded from

To download the Energy In Ireland report, click here

To download the full 'Combined Heat and Power' report 2015, please click here

To download the Electricity and Gas Prices in Ireland - 1st Semester 2015, please click here

Energy in Ireland 2014 Infographic

To view this press release as a PDF, please click here

Energy in Ireland infographic





















































For further information contact:
Morwenna Rice, Drury|Porter Novelli
086 1940069 (MR)


About SEAI:
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.



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