2015 sees first significant growth in energy use in five years

Energy use increased across all major sectors despite good progress on renewable energy and energy efficiency

23rd November 2016: The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) released Ireland’s official national energy statistics today, which show significant growth in energy use across all sectors of the economy in 2015. The report, Energy in Ireland 1990-2015, highlights nearly 5% growth in energy use which is the first significant growth since 2010. In addition, energy-related CO2 emissions increased by 6%. This increase in energy use and CO2 emissions is in the context of strong economic growth in 2015.

  • Energy accounts for 60% of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions and so has an important role in developing low-carbon solutions for Ireland. There has been good progress in terms of renewable energy deployment and improvements in energy efficiency.
  • Renewables contributed over 9% towards Ireland’s energy use which compares with a national target of 16% to be reached by 2020. This has avoided nearly 4.0 million tonnes of CO2 in just one year alone and also avoided over €400m of energy imports. Energy efficiency improvements are evident in households, the new private car stock and in the public sector.  
  • In relation to electricity, over a quarter of our electricity needs were met by renewable energy with the majority from wind and smaller contributions from hydro, landfill gas and bioenergy. In addition, renewables contributed 5.7% to energy use in transport and 6.5% in the heating sector.

Commenting on the new analysis of energy trends in Ireland, Jim Gannon, SEAI Chief Executive, said: “The publication of these energy figures is a timely and pertinent analysis of Ireland’s energy usage following the conclusion of COP22 in Marrakech last week and Ireland’s ratification of the Paris Agreement earlier in November. We are seeing good progress on renewable energy and energy efficiency, however, this needs to be further accelerated to keep pace with higher economic activity and demand for energy. The Government is already responding to this challenge with significant increased funding committed to energy efficiency and renewable heat in Budget 2017. This allows us to build on the progress to date and continue to decarbonise our energy system which will reduce costs, improve energy security and reduce environmental impact.”

Jim Gannon continued: “In 2015 the average household emitted 5.5 tonnes of CO2of which 61% came from direct fuel use in the home and the remainder from electricity use. The transition to a sustainable, low-carbon energy system requires the participation of citizens and communities in both decision-making and action.  It is vital that we have an informed debate about the choices for Ireland as we move to a low-carbon economy. SEAI is committed to the provision of timely, robust and transparent data to ensure that policy development, decision-making and our energy transition is based on high quality data and evidence.”

The full report Energy in Ireland 1990-2015 and accompanying infographic can be downloaded below:

Energy in Ireland 1990 - 2015.pdf (size 2.5 MB)

Energy in Ireland Infographic 2015.pdf (size 134 KB)


For further information contact:

Luke McDonnell, Drury|Porter  Novelli

085 7127243


About SEAI:

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has a mission to play a leading role in the transformation of Ireland to a society based on sustainable energy structures, technologies and practices. SEAI is partly financed by Ireland’s EU Structural Funds Programme co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Union.

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