Renewable Energy Use Grew by 10% in 2014
Primary energy use fell while economy grew
18th May, 2015 - Renewable energy use in Ireland increased by 10% in 2014 while consumption of fossil fuels fell 1.2%. That is according to provisional energy data for 2014 published today by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). The data also shows that primary energy use fell as the economy grew, continuing the process of decoupling, meaning our economy is increasingly productive with the energy it uses.
Wind accounted for 18% of electricity generated and was the second most significant source of electricity after natural gas. Total renewable electricity share now contributes nearly as much as coal and peat combined. 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.
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”.
National Energy Balance
A national energy balance is an accounting framework for the compilation and reconciliation of data on all energy products imported, produced, transformed and consumed in a country during a given year. The energy balance is published around October each year and provides comprehensive information on the energy supply and demand on the national territory in order to understand the energy security situation, the effective functioning of energy markets and other relevant policy goals, as well as to formulate energy policies. The Energy Policy Statistical Support Unit (EPSSU) is SEAI’s specialist statistical unit tasked with collecting and collating comprehensive energy supply and use statistics for Ireland. The provisional energy balance is published around April each year when the production, supply and transformation data are reasonably well known.
Provisional Energy Balance Highlights
- Overall primary energy fell by 0.4% while the economy (GDP) grew by 4.8%
- Overall primary use of renewable energy increased by 10%
- Primary consumption of fossil fuels fell in 2014 by 1.2%
- Import dependency fell to 85.5% in 2014 from 89% in 2013
- Energy CO2 emissions fell by 0.8% (-1.0% if aviation is excluded)
- 22.6% of electricity was generated from renewable sources
- Wind accounted for 18.3% of electricity generated and was the second most significant source of electricity after natural gas at 45.8%
- Renewables in total generated almost as much electricity as coal and peat combined in 2014 (22.6% compared with 23.1% for coal and peat)
- CO2 intensity of electricity reached a new low of 457 g CO2/kWh in 2014
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has a mission to play a leading role in transforming Ireland into a society based on sustainable energy structures, technologies and practices. SEAI is financed by Ireland’s EU Structural Funds Programme co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Union.
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