SEAI says backing sustainable energy will improve lives, meet environmental challenges and back jobs
11 July 2017: Ireland faces significant challenges ahead and only the improved delivery of sustainable energy solutions can help improve citizens' quality of life, protect the economy and allow us meet the challenge posed by climate change. That was the message from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) as it launched its new five-year strategy today.
The new strategy envisions an Ireland where energy is sustainable, secure and clean. Over the course of the coming five years, the Authority will seek to ensure citizens play an active role in the transition to a low carbon economy and a healthier future.
"SEAI has shown that it can deliver," said Julie O'Neill, Chairperson of the Authority. "Since our last strategy was published, we have invested over €400 million in sustainable energy projects throughout the country. This has saved the Irish economy over €1 billion in that time. Now it is time to be even more ambitious because the challenge set out in the Government's White Paper remains stark. It will require citizens, business, policy makers and regulators to work together in pursuit of this shared goal."
Recognising the scale of the task ahead, the SEAI will focus on a number of critical areas such as empowering citizens by giving them the means to use less energy and use clean energy at an individual level, raising awareness of sustainable energy, and increasing the impact from grant schemes. SEAI will also target deeper retrofit of our building stock, greater uptake of electric vehicles, further development in the public sector, provision of expert and authoritative analysis and enhancing the value derived from energy research and innovation.
"We are at the forefront of delivering material and measurable impact when it comes to energy savings and the transition to a low carbon future," said Jim Gannon CEO of SEAI. "We strive to be an open, accessible organisation taking direct actions that enable the country to achieve its climate change targets and provide a healthy, secure and clean energy future. Our investment in homes, businesses and communities has delivered tangible results and we will continue to expand both the reach and impact of these activities. We want to lead the transformation of the Irish economy to a lower carbon future - nothing less will do given the level of the challenge the country faces."
Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten congratulated the SEAI on the new strategy saying "The SEAI is a vital player in enabling Ireland to develop a new energy future and almost unique in their delivery of direct action and tangible results in addressing our response to climate change and promoting energy efficiency. One of my main priorities as Minister is to ensure that the SEAI is resourced properly to allow it to drive change at community level."
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Notes to Editors:
Key data from 2011 to 2016
- €400 million invested in sustainable energy projects resulting in cumulative energy savings of more than €1 billion
- Over 40 policy analysis and advisory reports published, directly contributing to policy development and implementation
- Supported energy upgrades in 200,000 homes, including 70,000 energy poor homes
- Worked with 1,200 businesses to improve energy efficiency resulting in an annual saving of €170 million
- Invested €18 million into 120 sustainable energy R&D projects
- Helped improve energy efficiency in the public sector by 21%, saving the exchequer €150 million annually
- 1,700 electric vehicles on the road