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

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

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.
Jim Gannon, Chief Executive, SEAI

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
Source: SEAI

Overall primary energy use grew by 0.5% in 2017. ​The following are the main trends in national fuel share for 2017:

Oil

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

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%.

Renewables

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%.

Electricity

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.

Renewable electricity

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

 20172020 target
Overall Renewables10.616
Renewable Heat6.912
Renewable Electricity30.140
Renewable Transport7.410
Source: SEAI

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.

Renewable electricity

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.

Renewable heat

The share of energy used for heat from renewable sources increased slightly to 6.9% in 2017.

Renewable transport

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

  Gas Peat Renewables Wastes Non-Renewable
201728547441184126
Source: SEAI

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.

Import dependency

Increased indigenous production meant Ireland’s energy import dependency reduced to 66%. Between 2000 and 2015 Ireland’s energy import dependency was approximately 90%.

Energy in Ireland Report

The full report presents the latest national data and trends on energy efficiency and renewable energy in Ireland. It also looks at how these energy trends relate to Government and EU renewable energy targets.

Download the reportDownload the infographic

Your feedback

Feedback and comment on this report are welcome by email to epssu@seai.ie.