Energy Targets FAQ

What are Ireland’s Renewable energy targets?

There are many different indicators spoken about in relation to the share of renewable in energy use, they are as follows:

European targets for 2020:

Since the publication of the 2009 Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC) the following are the European mandatory targets:

  • 20% for all energy to come from renewable energy sources by 2020.  Different targets are given to each member state in order to achieve this overall target for Europe.  Ireland's target is 16% of gross final consumption to come from renewables by 2020 as stated above.
  • 10% of all transport energy to come from renewable sources by 2020.

Irish Targets:

Overall renewables target - 16% of total final consumption to come from renewable energy in 2020.  This target will be made up of contributions from renewable energy in electricity (RES-E), renewable energy in transport (RES-T) and renewable energy for heat and cooling (RES-H).

There are also individual targets for RES-E, RES-T and RES-H. These targets are as follows:

  • Renewables contribution to gross electricity consumption 40% by 2020.
  • Renewables (biofuels & the renewable portion of electricity) contribution to transport energy 10% by 2020.
  • Renewable contribution to heat (Thermal requirement - heating & cooling) 12% by 2020.

See Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC) for the methodologies on how to calculate the progress toward the targets.

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What wind farms/renewables are currently connected to the electricity grid?

Please contact Eirgrid (www.eirgrid.com), the national transmission system operator for a list of grid connected renewable electricity generators.  Also contact Eirgird for any other queries in relation to grid connections and capacity.

What plans are in place to meet Ireland’s renewable energy targets?

Please refer to the National Renewable Energy Action Plan.

The EPSSU publication Renewable Energy in Ireland may also be useful. There is also a section in the Energy in Ireland publication which contains the most up to date information on renewables in Ireland.

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What are Ireland’s Energy Efficiency targets?

An Energy Policy for Europe specified a target of saving 20% of the European Union’s energy consumption compared to projections for 2020.  This has formed a key ingredient in the EU Energy and Climate Change Package agreed at the European Council in December 2008 (i.e. 20% efficiency improvement, 20% renewable energy penetration and 20% greenhouse-gas emissions reduction by 2020).  This target is not currently binding and a method for calculating the national targets has not been finalised by the European Commission (EC).  Ireland has reflected this commitment by adopting a national 20% target.

The EUEnergy Services Directive (ESD)sets an indicative target for member states to achieve a 1% per annum energy-efficiency improvement, resulting in a cumulative target of a 9% improvement in energy efficiency by 2016.  The ESD is an overarching directive that seeks to promote cost-effective energy efficiency in the EU member states through various promotional, awareness and support measures and through the removal of institutional, financial and legal barriers.  Unlike the 2020 energy-efficiency target, the ESD target excludes energy used by enterprises involved in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and also international aviation.

The Government of Ireland sets out in the 2007 Government White Paper, Delivering a Sustainable Energy Future for Ireland, a target for a 20% improvement in energy efficiency across the whole economy by 2020.  The White Paper also states an ambition to surpass the EU target of 20% with an indicative target of 30% energy efficiency by 2020.  The public service is to take an exemplar role in energy efficiency, with a savings target of 33% by 2020. 

The National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP) details the current package of energy-efficiency policies and measures that will contribute to both the national 20% savings target for 2020, and the EU ESD 9% energy-savings target for 2016.

In fulfilling its requirements under the ESD, the Irish Government submitted its third National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP 3) to the European Commission in 2014.

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What plans are in place to meet Ireland’s energy efficiency targets?

Please refer to the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan.

The publication Energy Efficiency in Ireland may also be useful.  There is also a section in the Energy in Ireland publication which contains the most up to date information on energy efficiency in Ireland.

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What are Ireland's Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions targets?

Please note the EPA are responsible for Ireland GHG emissions inventory.

Ireland’s commitment to the Kyoto Protocol, which is an international legally binding agreement to reduce GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions, is to limit the growth in annual emissions to 13% above 1990 levels by the period 2008 to 2012.  

There is the European target of a 20% reduction in GHG emissions compared to 2005 levels by 2020, which has also been adopted by the Irish government.

The renewed programme for government published in October 2009 stated a target of 3% annual average reduction in GHG emissions.

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What policies are in place to meet out GHG emissions targets?

Please note the EPA are responsible for Ireland GHG emissions inventory.

Please refer to the National Climate Change Strategy available to download from:

National Climate Change Strategy document (1.91 MB)

There is also a section in the Energy in Ireland publication which contains the most up to date information on energy emissions in Ireland.

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How is Ireland progressing toward meeting Ireland’s national targets?

Please refer to the latest in the series of the annual EPSSU publication Energy in Ireland for details of Ireland progress toward meeting national and international targets.

The latest publication is available here:

Energy in Ireland 1990 - 2008

Please note the EPA are responsible for Ireland GHG emissions inventory and reporting the progress toward Ireland’s emissions targets.

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