Energy Use Overview
See an overview of on energy use in Ireland broken down by fuel, sector and mode.
Annual energy flow
Oil,TPER,6010, Nat. Gas,TPER,4564, Coal,TPER,448, Peat,TPER,418, Non-Renewable Wastes,TPER,147, Wind,TPER,993, Hydo,TPER,80, Biomass & Other Renewables,TPER,851, TPER,Transformation losses,2186, TPER,TFC,11246, Transformation losses,Peat,9, Transformation losses,Natural Gas Own Use/Loss,61, Transformation losses,Oil Refining,94, Transformation losses,Electricity Transformation & Distribution Losses,2023, TFC,Electricity Exports (net),13, TFC,Agriculture & Fisheries,241, TFC,Commercial/Public,1830, TFC,Industry,2171, TFC,Residential,3128", TFC,Transport,3875,
This graph shows the energy balance for Ireland in 2020.
On the left are the primary energy inputs to the Irish energy system. Primary energy includes the raw fuels that are used for transformation processes such as electricity generation and oil refining. The sum of all primary energy is the Total Primary Energy Requirement (TPER). Fossil fuels accounted for almost 86% of all energy used in Ireland in 2020.
On the right are the sources of demand for final energy. Final energy includes the energy used directly in the different sectors such as transport, residential and industry. Final energy does not include energy lost during transformation processes such as electricity generation. The sum of all final energy used in all sectors is known as Total Final Consumption (TFC). Transport has been by far the largest source of energy demand in Ireland since 2000.
Also on the right is the energy that is lost during transformation processes such as electricity generation and oil refining. The electricity system has become much more efficient since 2000 but is still only just over 50% efficient. This means that almost half of all the energy used to generate electricity is lost before it gets to the final customer.
Primary energy by fuel
Primary energy by fuel (Mtoe),Oil,Gas,Renewables,Coal,Peat,Wastes Non-Renewable,Electricity Imports 2005,9.13,3.5,0.37,1.88,0.79,0,0.18 2006,8.95,3.97,0.43,1.63,0.76,0,0.15 2007,8.98,4.26,0.49,1.6,0.75,0,0.11 2008,8.9,4.52,0.59,1.41,0.87,0,0.04 2009,7.73,4.3,0.68,1.14,0.86,0.01,0.07 2010,7.29,4.71,0.68,1.23,0.76,0.01,0.04 2011,6.79,4.15,0.83,1.23,0.72,0.01,0.04 2012,6.25,4.04,0.82,1.49,0.79,0.05,0.04 2013,6.3,3.86,0.89,1.31,0.74,0.06,0.19 2014,6.25,3.73,1,1.23,0.78,0.07,0.18 2015,6.65,3.77,1.14,1.43,0.77,0.07,0.06 2016,6.95,4.25,1.13,1.37,0.73,0.07,0 2017,6.92,4.32,1.34,1.1,0.69,0.11,0 2018,7.16,4.48,1.48,0.79,0.69,0.15,0 2019,7.19,4.57,1.63,0.39,0.63,0.15,0.06 2020,6.01,4.56,1.78,0.45,0.42,0.15,0
Primary energy by fuel 2020 (%),2020 Oil,45 Gas,34.1 Renewables,13.3 Coal,3.4 Peat,3.1 Wastes Non-Renewable,1.1
Primary energy peaked in 2008 and declined between 2008 and 2014, due to the recession. Following the economic recovery, primary energy returned to growth in 2015 and 2016. It remained flat in 2017, grew 1.6% in 2018, then declined 0.8% in 2019. In 2020, the pandemic caused primary energy to fall by 8.7%.
Oil continues as the dominant energy source, holding a 45% share of primary energy in 2020, but shrinking from 49% share in both 2018 and 2019. Consumption of oil fell by 16.5% in 2020, descending to 34% below 2005 consumption. Oil is mostly used for transport, followed by heating. The fails in 2020 oil consumption occurred in the transport sector, especially aviation, followed by road transport.
Natural gas is the next largest energy source and accounted for 34% of primary energy in 2020, increasing from 30% in 2018 and 31% in 2019. Most natural gas is used for generating electricity. It accounted for 57% of energy inputs to electricity generation in 2020, up from 56% in 2019 and 54% in 2018.
Total renewable energy increased by 9% during 2020. Wind is the largest source of renewable energy, accounting for 56% of all renewable energy in 2020. It grew by15% in that year. As a share of primary energy, renewables accounted for 13.3% in 2020, up from 11.2% in 2019 and 10.0% in 2018.
Final energy by sector
Final energy by sector (Mtoe),Transport,Residential,Industry,Services,Agriculture & Fisheries 2005,5.08,3.24,2.49,1.41,0.38 2006,5.44,3.26,2.38,1.50,0.36 2007,5.72,3.21,2.33,1.53,0.34 2008,5.45,3.51,2.26,1.62,0.36 2009,4.87,3.42,1.89,1.49,0.31 2010,4.60,3.58,1.86,1.56,0.29 2011,4.43,3.13,1.73,1.51,0.28 2012,4.18,2.99,1.73,1.56,0.27 2013,4.35,2.91,1.81,1.59,0.25 2014,4.52,2.63,2.00,1.51,0.23 2015,4.79,2.79,2.01,1.61,0.22 2016,4.97,2.87,2.09,1.65,0.23 2017,5.07,2.78,2.17,1.64,0.24 2018,5.20,2.97,2.26,1.77,0.25 2019,5.23,2.88,2.25,1.82,0.25 2020,3.88,3.13,2.17,1.83,0.24
Final energy by sector (%),2020 Transport,34.5 Residential,27.8 Industry,19.3 Services,16.3 Agriculture & Fisheries,2.1
Looking at final energy split by sector, transport remained the largest share, accounting for 34.5% of final energy demand in 2020. However, this is a deep dip in transport's usage share from 46.5% during pre-pandemic 2019.
Transport has been the sector that is most sensitive to the pandemic and the economy in general. Across the five sectors, transport energy use experienced the greatest decrease after the 2009 recession. Likewise, it has seen the greatest increase since 2012. Those yearly increases in transport energy were stopped in 2020 because of the pandemic, but are on course to resume during 2021 for road transport oil products.
The next largest sources of energy demand are households ("residential") and industry. They accounted for 27.8% and 19.3% of final energy use respectively in 2020.
Final energy by mode
Final energy by mode (Mtoe),Transport,Heat,Electricity 2005,5.08,5.43,2.09 2006,5.43,5.29,2.23 2007,5.71,5.2,2.22 2008,5.44,5.45,2.29 2009,4.86,4.94,2.17 2010,4.6,5.11,2.18 2011,4.42,4.52,2.14 2012,4.17,4.42,2.14 2013,4.34,4.43,2.14 2014,4.52,4.23,2.13 2015,4.78,4.42,2.22 2016,4.96,4.57,2.27 2017,5.06,4.54,2.29 2018,5.19,4.86,2.4 2019,5.23,4.76,2.44 2020,3.87,4.91,2.46
Final energy by mode 2020 (%),2020 Transport,34.4 Heat,43.7 Electricity,21.9
We often split energy use into three modes: transport, heat and electricity. If electricity provides transport or heat (electric cars or showers), it is counted under electricity, and not under transport or heat. In this way, the three modes are completely separate and add up to the total energy use.
Heat became the largest mode of energy use in 2020, accounting for almost 44%. Transport was the next largest at just over 34%. (2020 was the first year since 2013 that transport energy fell below heat energy.) Electricity accounted for the remaining 22%. Since these are shares of final energy use, they do not include the energy losses from electricity generation.