Ireland on course to meet Kyoto emissions targets

SEAI notes move to energy efficiency

The average house threw off 6.3 tonnes of carbon last year, which is 28 per cent down on the 2005 peak

The average house threw off 6.3 tonnes of carbon last year, which is 28 per cent down on the 2005 peak

 

The Irish economy is becoming more energy-efficient and the country will meet its targets under the Kyoto energy conservation treaty, according to a new report from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).

Although the economy grew last year by 0.2 per cent, overall energy usage fell by 4.6 per cent to drop back to 1999 levels, according to the annual Energy in Ireland report.

Transport fuel, which accounts for one-third of national energy usage, fell by 5.7 per cent while domestic users recorded a 4.2 per cent decline in their energy needs. The average Irish house emits 40 per cent less carbon than 20 years ago, according to the report.

The average house threw off 6.3 tonnes of carbon last year, which is 28 per cent down on the 2005 peak. Emissions for the country as a whole fell 3.3 per cent in 2012.


Oil dependency
The Irish economy is still heavily oil-dependent, with 45 per cent of the country’s needs met by crude derivatives. Natural gas produced 30 per cent of the country’s needs, which also include electricity generation.

Ireland is becoming less dependent on oil, however, with consumption in 2012 dropping by 12 per cent. Gas consumption fell by 2.5 per cent, while 2.9 per cent less electricity was needed.

Renewable energy now provides one-fifth of the country’s electricity needs, which the report estimates has cut €300 million from the national bill for fossil fuel imports. “The energy productivity of Ireland’s economy has been improving steadily over recent years, with progress in all sectors,” said Brian Motherway, the chief executive of SEAI.

“We are moving in the right direction, but there is no room for complacency.