Main Chart 

The main chart here shows historic (1990-2015) and projected (2016-2030) primary energy supply in Ireland in Million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) split by fuel group. This represents the total amount of energy used in Ireland in any given year, including primary energy before conversion to forms useful for the final consumer (e.g. natural gas used as a fuel for electricity production). The historic data (1990-2015) is taken from Ireland’s historic energy balances. The projected figures are taken from the SEAI energy forecast, in particular the NREAP/NEEAP scenario (see ‘trend’ tab for details). Note that ‘electricity’ represents imported electricity. 

Secondary Chart 

The smaller chart at the top right hand side shows historic (1990-2015) primary energy supply in Ireland broken down by individual fuel (e.g. coal is split into four different coal products). Note that there is no projected supply data for individual fuels as the energy forecast considers only the broader fuel groups as opposed to individual fuels. 


To explore the data, click on one or more fuel groups in the ‘Fuel Group’ selector on the left hand side to examine the trends in their supply. You can also select one or more fuels in the ‘Fuel’ selector which will cause the smaller chart at the top right hand side to update (note only the smaller chart responds when individual fuels are selected, the main chart only responds when ‘fuel groups’ are selected). You can expand both charts by clicking on the ‘focus mode’ icon in the top right hand corner of each chart. Click and drag the grey semi-circles on the timeline slider to adjust the year range for the charts. To enter full screen mode click on the double-headed arrow in the bottom right hand corner. Hover the cursor over the chart areas to bring up a summary of the data in each year for the fuels selected. 


Primary energy supply in Ireland in 2015 was 13.9 Mtoe. Over the period 1990–2015 Ireland’s annual total primary energy requirement (TPER – this metric excludes fuel supplied for non-energy use, such as oil products for petrochemicals) grew in absolute terms by 46% (1.5% per annum on average). Energy supply depends on the demand for energy services (heating, transportation and electricity uses) and how that demand is delivered. Energy service demand in turn is driven primarily by economic activity and by the energy end-use technologies employed in undertaking the activity.

Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s economic growth was particularly strong, especially from 1993 onwards. This resulted in GDP in 2007 being almost three times that of 1990. In 2008 the economy experienced a downturn that deepened into 2009. Initially in 2008, certain sectors, namely industry and transport, also experienced reductions in energy use while there was continuing energy growth in the residential and services sectors partly due to weather conditions. In 2009, however, all sectors of the economy experienced reductions in energy use and related CO2 emissions.

2011 to 2013 were mild years compared with 2010 and, notwithstanding the flat growth in GDP, there was a drop in energy demand across all sectors of the economy during these years. In 2015 GDP grew by 26.3%, much of this was attributed to the transfer into Ireland of assets by multinationals, which had little or no effect on energy use. In 2015 Ireland’s primary energy requirement increased by 4.9% following decreases since 2010. Between 2005 and 2015 primary energy requirement fell by 12%. 


The projected figures in the main chart (2016-2030) are taken from the SEAI energy forecast, in particular the NREAP/NEEAP scenario. In this scenario it is assumed that all of the policies and measures set out in Ireland’s National Renewable Energy Action Plan and National Energy Efficiency Action Plan are implemented, with no further policies assumed beyond 2020. This results in continued strong growth from renewables until 2020, followed by more modest growth from 2021-2030 as additional policy measures to drive renewables is not assumed in this scenario. 

For more detailed commentary on the trends within the historic data you can consult SEAI’s Energy in Ireland report. For more information on the projected figures you can consult Ireland’s Energy Targets