Policy Drivers


Energy White Paper
In March 2007, the Government launched its Energy White Paper entitled ‘Delivering a Sustainable Energy Future for Ireland’. The paper is a practical action-based strategy for achieving a new energy future for Ireland. The strategy is to be delivered in partnership with all stakeholders and will span the timeframe 2007-2020. The strategy reflects the Government’s tripartite goals of ensuring safe and secure energy supplies, promoting a sustainable energy future, and delivering economically efficient prices to Irish consumers.

Energy White Paper

National Climate Change Strategy
As part of the EU target under the Kyoto Protocol, Ireland agreed to limit the growth in its greenhouse gas emissions to 13% above 1990 levels by the first commitment period of 2008-2012. Ireland ratified the Kyoto Protocol on the 31 May 2002, along with the EU and all other Member States. As a result, it is legally bound to meet the greenhouse gas emissions reduction target.

To ensure Ireland reaches its target under the Kyoto Protocol and following a comprehensive public consultation process, the Government published the National Climate Change Strategy in October 2000.  The Strategy provided a framework for action to reduce Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions.

The National Climate Change Strategy 2007-2012 follows on from the first national strategy and takes account of the public consultation process which followed the further review in Ireland’s Pathway to Kyoto Compliance (2006). The purpose of this revised strategy is twofold:

• to show clearly the measures by which Ireland will meet its 2008-2012 commitment; and
• to show how these measures position us for the post-2012 period, and to identify the areas in which further measures are being researched and developed to enable us meet our eventual 2020 commitment.

National Climate Change Strategy
Ireland’s Pathway to Kyoto Compliance – Review of the NCCS

Kyoto Protocol
As a first step towards tackling the threat of climate change, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) required developed countries to put in place policies and measures with the objective of returning emissions of greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by the end of the decade. However, in recognition of the need to take more substantial and urgent action, industrialised or developed countries committed to reduce their combined emissions of greenhouse gases by at least 5% compared to 1990 levels by the first commitment period 2008-2012. The protocol came into force on 16 February 2005.

The EU has an overall reduction target of 8% below 1990 levels and has agreed a burden sharing agreement that recognises the different economic circumstances of each member state.  Ireland's target is to limit the increase in its greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol to 13% above 1990 levels by 2008-2012.

Electricity Regulation Act, 1999
The Electricity Regulation Act 1999 liberalised the electricity sector in Ireland.  As a result, the electricity market in Ireland is now fully open to competition, in accordance with the requirements of the EU Directives 96/92/EC and 98/30/EC, as of February 19th 2005.

The Act sets out the following measures:

• Full deregulation of the market for electricity generated using renewable forms of energy as its primary source;
• Priority dispatch of electricity generated from renewable energy sources;
• Establishment of the Commission of Electricity Regulation with a duty to encourage research and development into methods of generating electricity using renewable, sustainable and alternative forms of energy.

National Development Plan 2007-2013
The new NDP intends to build on the progress made in the area of sustainable energy under the previous NDP 2000-2006 by investing some €276 million under the Sustainable Energy Sub-Programme over the period 2007-2013.

Investment in the sustainable energy sector during the 2007-2013 period will include the following:

• Renewable energy measures: The primary focus will be on (RE Targets) the large-scale deployment of wind, the emerging potential and deployment of biomass and biofuels, preparatory action on ocean energy and deployment of other technologies such as solar and geothermal technologies. Deployment will be delivered through a range of supports including taxation, direct grant aid and other funding or support mechanisms;

• Energy efficiency measures: The overall objective will be the achievement of an annual saving of at least 1% of energy use across the economy; and

• Integration and innovation measures: Primarily focus on integrating sustainable energy practices and structures into public policies and the development of regional and national infrastructures. There will be two sets of activities: the integration of national sustainable energy policy measures at a regional and city level, and the smaller-scale piloting and evaluation of sustainable energy technology options, including those in the renewable energy, energy efficiency and urban transport areas.

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