Record year of Government investment in sustainable energy as SEAI prepares for ‘unprecedented’ national challenge

  • More than 11,300 homes made more efficient including 2,272 energy poor homes. Over 4,000 domestic solar PV systems were also supported.
  • Public sector now 29% more energy efficient than in 2009
  • Record sales in EVs in 2021
  • 3,300 business users supported through SEAI’s Energy Academy
  • However, this is just a base to build upon, the next decade must outperform these achievements

SEAI today announced its achievements for 2021, detailing €196 million of Government investment in Ireland’s sustainable energy transition, making it a record year. As a result, more than 11,300 homes are more comfortable and efficient, there are 13,400 more EVs in use, 600 communities are planning their own clean energy transition, public sector now 29% more energy efficient and thousands of businesses are more competitive.

Speaking about the results, SEAI Chief Executive William Walsh said:

“The last year has seen a further increase in activity across our programmes, grants and services. We have now built up a strong momentum and appetite for change among business, the public sector, communities, and home and vehicle owners. This comes at a vital time as the challenge ahead is unprecedented. Only sustained year-on-year emissions reductions will see us meet our targets and make our national contribution to the global aim of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees. Our ambition over the next decade is to far outstrip the rates of change previously achieved. Ireland needs to dramatically shift away from fossil fuel use for electricity, heat and transport as a national priority.   We have had significant success in decarbonising electricity but the shift towards renewable energy and energy efficient technologies has not been fast enough to curb rising greenhouse gas emissions from heat and transport activities. As we hope to emerge from the pandemic in 2022, it’s likely that much of the emissions reductions that occurred due to lock-down measures and other COVID impacts will be eliminated."    
William Walsh , CEO of SEAI
We have learned a lot from past efforts. We continue to work with all stakeholders to optimise schemes and improve offerings to drive emissions reductions from our energy system. We are now able to engage with almost every sector of Irish life to support the necessary changes. This is no time to delay. We encourage businesses of all sizes and all citizens to engage in the conversations, utilise existing supports and make whatever changes they can to move away from fossil fuel use now. We all must be part of the societal movement to an efficient energy system built on renewable energy sources. The quicker that we achieve this, the sooner the broad range of benefits will flow to Irish businesses and citizens in the form of cheaper to run, warmer and healthier buildings, improved air quality, increased business competitiveness, improved security of energy supply and many others. In making the transition we will make discoveries that will need to be shared internationally to support global success in addressing the climate crisis."
William Walsh , CEO of SEAI

Concluding, Mr Walsh said:

“The demands on Ireland’s energy and environment require us to work at pace and to deliver even greater results. That is what we intend to do. Not just because it is our mission but because it will provide a better life for individuals, businesses, and communities long into the future. If we achieve our mission, our legacy will be a healthy Ireland and a healthy planet for future generations.”
William Walsh , CEO of SEAI