SEAI's annual publication presents the latest official statistics on energy use in Ireland. View our insights and download the full 2022 report.

Latest energy trends in Ireland

Our annual publication looks at trends in national energy use and at the underlying driving forces, such as the economy and weather, and more recently the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also examines greenhouse gas emissions from energy use, energy security, cost competitiveness, and our progress towards EU renewable energy targets.

The data provided in this report is a key strand in the evidence base that SEAI provides to support the transition to a carbon neutral society.

  • 5.4%

    Energy Related CO2 up
  • 7.1%

    Transport Demand up
  • 12.5%

    Renewable Energy Share

Although, Ireland has committed to reducing its CO2 emissions by 4.8% per annum from 2021- 2025 under the first carbon budget, energy related emissions were instead up 5.4% in 2021. They are now back at the same level as 2019 after a temporary reduction due to COVID-related restrictions.

Provisional estimates for energy demand in 2022, based on extrapolations of January to September’s monthly data suggest a stronge rebound in 2022 of +6% in energy demand, indicating that Ireland’s energy demand has almost fully recovered to its pre-COVID 2019 levels

As evident from the data and analysis in this report, our energy use and energy-related emissions have now fully rebounded following the lifting of Covid-related restrictions. Despite the upgrade of a further 40,000 homes, the addition of almost 40,000 EVs and a broad range of other actions including in the public sector and communities around Ireland over the last two years, our emissions are on an upward trajectory. As our economy recovers, and our population grows, it is more important than ever to deliver energy efficiency measures, while shifting this efficient demand to dependence on renewable energy sources.
William Walsh, SEAI CEO

Ireland's energy balance 2021

Oil,Total Primary Energy,6359
Nat. Gas,Total Primary Energy,4384
Coal,Total Primary Energy,914
Peat,Total Primary Energy,265
Non-Renewable Wastes,Total Primary Energy,143
Wind,Total Primary Energy,841
Hydro,Total Primary Energy,64
Biomass & Other Renewables,Total Primary Energy,745
Total Primary Energy,Total Final Energy,11481
Total Primary Energy,Electricity Transformation & Distribution Losses,2262
Total Primary Energy,Other Losses,165
Total Primary Energy,Net Electricity Exports,0
Total Final Energy,Agriculture & Fisheries,251
Total Final Energy,Commercial/Public,1794
Total Final Energy,Industry,2207
Total Final Energy,Residential,3073
Total Final Energy,Transport,4155
Source: SEAI

2021 and 2022 Highlights

Emissions

  • Although, Ireland has committed to reducing its CO2 emissions by 4.8% per annum from 2021- 2025 under the first carbon budget, energy related emissions were instead up 5.4% in 2021.

  • Provisional data from monthly surveys indicate that energy related emissions will increase by a further 6% in 2022.

  • A rebound in car use after the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions is a significant contributor to Ireland’s increased emissions.

  • The 35.5 MtCO2 of energy-related CO2 (including international aviation) accounts for over half of all GHG emissions in Ireland.

  • Due to a low wind year for renewable generation in 2021, we used more coal and oil for electricity generation, which increased the carbon intensity of our electricity by 12.5%

Transport

  • Energy demand for transport rose by 7.1% from its significant suppression in 2020.

  • Provisional data from monthly surveys indicate that energy demand for transport will rebound more fully in 2022 by up to 18%, returning us to roughly pre-COVID levels.

  • The transport sector emitted 12.0 MtCO2 in 2021 and accounted for 34% of Ireland’s total energy emissions.

  • Transport remained the most carbon intensive demand sector, with 95.5% of transport energy demand coming from fossil fuels in 2021

  • Private car use is by far the largest transport sub-sector accounting for 43% of all transport energy demand in 2021

Residential

  • The residential sector emitted 9.8 MtCO2 in 2021, which was 27.5% of Ireland’s total energy emissions

  • Oil remains the dominant source of residential energy demand in 2021, and accounted for 41% of all home energy use, followed by electricity at 25% and gas at 19%.

Business

  • Ireland’s business activities consist of our industry sector, which emitted 6.2 MtCO2 in 2021, and our commercial and public services sector, which emitted 6.3 MtCO2.

  • Together, the industry and services sectors accounted for 34.9% of Ireland’s energy demand in 2021.

  • The ICT sub-sector, which includes datacentres, accounted for 3.9% of Ireland’s total energy demand, and 16.5% of its electricity demand in 2021.

  • Energy demand in the ICT sub-sector increased by 17.9% in 2021.

energy in ireland 2022 front cover

Energy in Ireland Report

The full report presents the latest national data and trends on energy efficiency and renewable energy in Ireland. It also looks at how these energy trends relate to Government and EU renewable energy targets.

Download the report

Your feedback

We welcome your feedback and comments on this report. Please send your email to epssu@seai.ie.