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.

Provisional 2018 Energy Balance

The Final National Energy Balance is published each year in October. In April we publish a summary provisional balance with the headline figures for energy supply. These are subject to revision.

Main points from the provisional 2018 balance:

Energy use remained essentially flat in 2018, increasing by 0.7%. Energy related CO2 emissions reduced slightly (by 1.8%). This was largely due to a one-off outage at Moneypoint power station. There was a significant reduction in coal used for electricity generation as a result.

  •  In 2018 energy use grew by 0.7% and energy CO2 emissions fell by 1.8%. The fall in emissions was due to reductions in coal and peat use, mainly in electricity generation. This was in addition to an increased contribution from renewable energy sources.
  • Natural gas use grew by 3.8% (mainly in final consumption) and accounted for 31% of all energy used. It is used mainly for industrial processes, heating of homes and businesses and electricity.
  • Coal use fell by 32% in 2018. Moneypoint electricity generating station was offline for approximately three months towards the end of the year. Coal accounted for 5.2% of all energy use in 2018, down from 7.6% in 2017.
  • Peat use fell by 3.8% and accounted for 4.7% of all energy use.
  • Oil use increased by 1% in 2018 and accounted for 48% of all energy use. It is used mainly in the transport sector and for household heating.
  • Import dependency increased slightly in 2018 to 67% from 66% in 2017. Gas imports increased by 23% (331 ktoe) and mostly offset reduced coal imports, which fell by 32% (391 ktoe).  Indigenous gas production was down by 3.6% also.
  • 61% of natural gas use in Ireland in 2018 came from indigenous sources compared with 66% in 2017.

Electricity Generation

  • Demand for electricity increased by 2% in 2018. 
  • The majority of electricity generated came from gas, followed by wind and then coal and peat.
  • Coal and peat use in electricity generation were down by 44% (379 ktoe) and 3% (14 ktoe) respectively between 2017 and 2018. 
  • Natural gas input to electricity generation increased by 1.9% or 45 ktoe. The contribution from wind increased by 12.7% (81 ktoe), biomass by 35% (48 ktoe) and wastes by 106% (59 ktoe). 
  • These changes have resulted in the CO2 intensity of electricity falling by 13%. This is a new low of 379 gCO2/kWh, down from 437 gCO2/kWh in 2017.

Renewable Targets

  • Overall renewable contribution to gross final energy consumption in 2018 increased to 11.5% (provisional) from 10.6% in 2017.
  • Renewable electricity (RES-E) increased to 33.2% (30.1% in 2017). Figures for renewable heat and transport will be available later in the year.
Download Provisional 2018 Energy Balance    Download as pdf

2017 Energy Balance

Notes on Final Energy Balance 2017

  • Overall primary energy use increased by 0.5% in 2017. The economy grew by 7.2% as measured by GDP and 1.4% as measured by modified GNI*.
  • CO2 emissions from energy use fell by 2.1% in 2017 compared with 2016. This was due to reductions in coal and peat use, mainly in electricity generation. It was also due to increased contribution from renewable energy source, which in total grew by 19% in 2017.
  • Natural gas use grew by 1.5% compared with 2016 and accounted for 30% of all energy used.
  • Coal use fell by 19.8% and accounted for 7.6% of energy while peat use fell by 5.3% and accounted for 4.8% of energy use.
  • Oil use increased by 0.5% in 2017 and accounted for 48% of energy use.
  • Import dependency fell further in 2017 to 66%. This was due to increased production from the Corrib gas field and increases in renewables and peat production.
  • 66% of natural gas use in Ireland in 2016 came from indigenous sources compared with 59% in 2016 and 3% in 2015.

Electricity Generation

  • Demand for electricity increased by 1.5% in 2017.  Coal, peat and oil use in electricity generation were down, 21.2%, 6.4% and 50% respectively or 301 ktoe, between 2016 and 2017.  The only other input to electricity generation that was down was landfill gas, which was 1 ktoe lower. 
  • Natural gas input to electricity generation increased by 3.5% or 82 ktoe. Wind contribution increased by 111 ktoe (21.1%), biomass by 25 ktoe (21.7%) and hydro by 1 ktoe (1.6%). 
  • These changes in 2016 have resulted in the CO2 intensity of electricity falling by 9.1% in 2017. This is the lowest level of 437gCO2/kWh from 480 gCO2/kWh in 2016.

Renewable Targets

  • Overall renewable contribution to gross final energy consumption in 2017 increased to 10.6% from 9.2% (revised) in 2016.
  • Renewable electricity (RES-E) increased to 30.1% (26.8% in 2016 [revised]), renewable heat (RES-H) increased to 6.9% (6.3% in 2016 [revised]) and renewable transport was 7.2% (5.1% in 2016 [revised]).

Final 2017 energy balance was published on 5th October 2018.

Download the 2017 Energy Balance

Previous Energy Balances

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

Download historical Energy Balances