The National Energy Balance presents detailed information on how and where energy is used in Ireland for a given year.

The Balance shows the flow of energy from production and transformation to total final consumption. This is shown in the form of a table. The National Energy Balance is our primary statistical release. It is the basis of much of the further analysis we do.

Developing the National Energy Balance is a continuous and ongoing process, and revisions are made whenever improved data becomes available. We welcome any feedback, which can be sent to epssu@seai.ie.

2019 Energy Balance

Key points from the 2019 Energy Balance:

CO₂ emissions from all energy use fell 4.5% in 2019, a reduction of 1.76 million tonnes of CO₂. This marks the biggest annual reduction in CO₂ emissions since 2011, at the height of the last recession. Most of the progress was in electricity generation, with little improvement in heat and transport. The fall in CO₂ emissions was mostly due to a 70% year-on-year reduction in coal used for generating electricity. Energy used for heat in homes and businesses was down in 2019, though most of the reduction was due to it being warmer than 2018. Transport, the sector that consumes most fossil fuels and where we emit most CO₂, showed no reduction in energy use, and only a marginal reduction in CO₂ emissions.

The figures for 2019 show:

  • Overall CO₂ emissions from fossil energy use fell by 4.5%, a reduction of 1.76 million tonnes of CO₂.
  • Overall energy use fell by 1.2% while the economy grew by 3.2%, as measured by modified domestic demand.
  • Energy from renewable sources accounted for 12% of all energy used, up from 10.9% in 2018. Using renewable energy avoided 5.8 million tonnes of CO₂ – the majority of which (4.8 million tonnes) was from renewable electricity.
  • Overall CO₂ emissions from electricity generation fell by 12% (1.2 million tonnes of CO₂). In 2019 wind supplied one third of all electricity. 
  • Heat energy use fell by 3.1%, mostly due to it being warmer than 2018. CO₂ emissions from energy used for heat fell by 4.3% (0.6 million tonnes of CO₂).
  • Transport energy use increased slightly (by 0.5%) but CO₂ emissions fell marginally. This was mostly due to increased blending of biofuels with petrol and diesel.
Download 2019 Energy Balance excel file    Download 1990-2019 Energy Balances Excel File
The progress we are making in electricity illustrates how replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy leads to emissions reductions – a direct climate action. Increased focus is now being given to how to reduce, and eventually eliminate fossil fuels from heating and transport
Jim Scheer, Head of Data and Insights, SEAI

Important revisions to historical data

In this release we have also published significant revisions to the historical energy balances going back as far as 1990. This is because we have incorporated a major new data set on business energy use for the first time. This is the Business Energy Use Survey (BEUS), first published by the the Central Statistics Office (CSO) in December 2018. This valuable new data source provides a new basis for the breakdown of energy use in the commercial services, public services and industrial sectors, at a level of detail not previously possible. SEAI have revised the National Energy Balances from 1990 to 2018 incorporating this new improved data. In some cases the revisions to estimates of business energy use have had knock on effects in other sectors, particularily residential, leading to revisions there also.

There are some significant methodological differences between the BEUS and the National Energy Balances. These differences mean that the BEUS and the National Energy Balance data are not always directly comparable. To make use of the BEUS, the data needs to be carefully examined and compared on a fuel by fuel and sector by sector basis, and expert judgement is required to assess the most appropriate use of the data.

Due to the scale and importance of these revisions we have prepared a supporting report. This report explains the new data that is available, the methodology for incorporating it into the National Energy Balance, and a detailed comparison between the old and revised Energy Balance data for each fuel and sector. We have also made available a supporting excel spreadsheet comparing the old and revised data.

More information on the BEUS is also available directly from the CSO:

https://www.cso.ie/en/methods/surveybackgroundnotes/businessenergyuse/

 

Download Report on Energy Balance Revisions    Download Excel file on Energy Balance Revisions

Previous Energy Balances

The energy balance for every year since 1990 is also available to download.

Download historical Energy Balances