SEAI's annual publication presents national energy statistics on energy production and consumption. View our insights and download the full 2018 report.
Annual energy trends in Ireland
Our annual publication presents energy statistics on energy production and consumption in Ireland. The report looks at energy trends and underlying drivers. It also examines sectoral consumption, and our progress towards renewable targets.
+3%The amount the economy grew in 2017
+0.5%Increase in overall energy use in 2017
-2.1%Reduction in energy-related CO₂ emissions in 2017
Transport continues to dominate Ireland’s energy use, with a share of 42.9% of final consumption in 2017. Transport energy use increased by 2.0% in 2017. The average emissions of new cars purchased in 2017 was 112.7g CO2/km, up slightly on 2016. From 2020 onwards, the EU has set a target of 95g CO2/km for the average emissions of the new car fleet.
Residential energy use fell by 2.9%. However, when adjusted for weather it increased by 0.2%. In 2017 the average household emitted 5.1 tonnes of CO2. 63% of this came from direct fuel use in the home and the remainder from electricity use. This is down from 8.4 tonnes in 2005.
Industrial and commercial
In 2017 industry energy use increased by 3.4% driven by a 7.6% increase in output of industry as measured by value added. Final energy use in the commercial and public services sector increased by 4.3% in 2017. Weather corrected, the increase was 7.4%.
The data provided in this report is a key strand in the SEAI evidence base that supports policy makers and researchers in Ireland. As the dialogue on climate change continues to gain momentum, it is now more important than ever that rational debate be based on robust statistical evidence from all emitting sectors.
Ireland's energy balance
Oil,TPER,6948 Natural Gas,TPER,4315 Coal,TPER,1099 Peat,TPER,695 Wind,TPER,640 Hydro,TPER,59 Other Renewables and Wastes,TPER,774 TPER,Transformation,2652 TPER,TFC,11821 Transformation,Natural Gas Own Use/Loss,50 Transformation,Electricity Transformation and Distribution Losses,2387 Transformation,Briquetting,14 Transformation,Oil Refining,91 TFC,Commercial/Public,1392 TFC,Electricity Exports,58 TFC,Industry,2516 TFC,Residential,2609 TFC,Agriculture and Fisheries,236 TFC,Transport,5067
Overall primary energy use grew by 0.5% in 2017. The following are the main trends in national fuel share for 2017:
Oil continues to be the dominant energy source, maintaining a 48% share of TPER. Consumption of oil increased by 0.5% but remained 24% lower than in 2005.
Natural gas use increased by 1.5%, and it share of TPER increased to 30%. Natural gas use was 23% higher than in 2005.
Coat and peat
Coal use decreased by 20%, and its share of TPER fell to 7.6% in 2017. Since 2005, coal demand has fallen by 42% (4.4% per annum). Peat use fell by 5.3%, and its share of overall energy use was 4.8%.
Total renewable energy increased by 19% . The overall share of renewables in primary energy was 8.0%, down from 8.3% in 2015. Hydro and wind increased by 1.6% and 21% respectively. Biomass use increased by 13.2%. Other renewables increased by 27%.
Ireland continued to be a net exporter of electricity but exported 4.7% less than in 2016.
Electricity – fuel mix and carbon intensity
In 2017 Ireland generated 1.5% more electricity than the previous year. Demand for electricity within Ireland increased by 1.6%. Although we continued to export electricity to the UK, the amount of exports decreased by 4.7%.
Despite the increase in electricity generated, the energy inputs to electricity generation fell by 1%. This was because less of our electricity came from coal and peat stations, and more came from wind.
The level of wind generation increased by 21.1% compared to the previous year. The increase was mostly due to more turbines and more wind. This was because less wind blew in 2016. 532 MW of wind turbines were installed in 2017, the most in any year.
Progress towards renewable energy targets
Ireland's target is for renewable energy to make up 16% of Gross Final Energy Consumption by 2020. We are not on track to meet this 2020 target. In 2017 it stood at 10.6%, up from 9.2% in 2016.
Electricity generated from wind and hydro is normalised to even out annual variations in wind and rainfall. Normalised renewable electricity increased from 27.2% in 2016 to 30.1% in 2017. Wind accounted for 84% of renewable electricity in 2017.
The share of energy used for heat from renewable sources increased slightly to 6.9% in 2017.
The share of energy used for transport from renewable sources increased from 5.2% in 2016 to 7.4% in 2017. This was due to an increase in the biofuels blending requirement for fuel suppliers.
Indigenous energy and import dependency
Corrib gas field
Indigenous energy production in Ireland reached 4,909 ktoe in 2017 – the highest level ever recorded. This was due to the Corrib gas field coming on stream in 2016. Indigenous natural gas production also reached its highest level of 2,854 ktoe. We expect the level of production from the Corrib field to taper off significantly from 2020.
Increased indigenous production meant Ireland’s energy import dependency reduced to 66%. Between 2000 and 2015 Ireland’s energy import dependency was approximately 90%.