Ireland still heavily dependent on energy imports costing €5.7 billion in 2014
Transport is the least energy secure sector relying almost entirely on imported oil-based products
14th January 2016
Ireland is still heavily dependent on imported fossil fuels according to the "Energy Security in Ireland" report published by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). The report shows that in 2014, we still import 85% of our energy, at a cost of €5.7 billion to the country.
In 2014, 97% of imports were fossil fuels; oil (56%) , natural gas (31%), and coal (10%). The remainder was electricity (2%), and biofuels (1%). Indigenous energy production in 2014 comprised of peat (47%) renewable energy sources (44%), natural gas (6%) and non-renewable wastes (3%).
Commenting on the report Dr Eimear Cotter, Head of Low Carbon Technologies with SEAI said: "In 2014, 15% of our energy came from indigenous resources with renewable energy now starting to make a significant contribution. However the remaining 85% of our energy requirements came from abroad, costing us more than €15 million every day. This is a lost opportunity in terms of keeping this money here in Ireland and further developing our abundant renewable resources. The transport sector in particular relies almost entirely on imported oil. Options to reduce this dependency include reducing energy demand by being smarter about how we use transport and using clean fuels including bioenergy."
Dr Cotter continued: "Ireland's energy security is affected as oil and gas production in the EU declines and imports come from outside the EU such as from North Africa and the Middle East.. Meanwhile, we have plentiful clean and renewable resources here in Ireland. Maximising these resources will reduce our dependence on costly imported energy and improve Ireland's standing as a sustainable and self-sufficient economy."
There is much to be gained from reducing this import dependency and developing our own indigenous and renewable energy resources. The benefits include reduced exposure of our energy system to volatile imported fossil fuels and reduced emissions.
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- Energy security comprises many diverse factors, including import dependency, fuel diversity, the capacity and integrity of the supply and distribution infrastructure, energy prices, physical risks, supply disruptions and emergencies.
- Ireland had an import dependency of 85% in 2014, estimated to cost €5.7 billion, down from a peak of 91% in 2006. In absolute terms, net energy imports peaked in 2008, and decreased by 23% since then. This was primarily due to the fall in energy demand over that period.