SEAI: Ireland Can Fight Dependence on Imported Energy with Renewables

Ireland can tackle its heavy reliance on imported fossil fuels by developing own indigenous and renewable energy resources, according to Dr. Eimear Cotter, Head of Low Carbon Technologies at Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). 

According to the “Energy Security in Ireland” report published by SEAI, Ireland imported 85% of its energy in 2014, at a cost of EUR 5.7 billion to the country.

“In 2014, 15% of our energy came from indigenous resources with renewable energy now starting to make a significant contribution. However the remaining 85% of our energy requirements came from abroad, costing us more than EUR 15 million every day. This is a lost opportunity in terms of keeping this money here in Ireland and further developing our abundant renewable resources. The transport sector in particular relies almost entirely on imported oil. Options to reduce this dependency include reducing energy demand by being smarter about how we use transport and using clean fuels including bioenergy,” Dr. Cotter said.

In 2014, 97% of imports were fossil fuels; oil (56%), natural gas (31%), and coal (10%). The remainder was electricity (2%), and biofuels (1%). Indigenous energy production in 2014 comprised of peat (47%) renewable energy sources (44%), natural gas (6%) and non-renewable wastes (3%).

“Ireland’s energy security is affected as oil and gas production in the EU declines and imports come from outside the EU such as from North Africa and the Middle East.. Meanwhile, we have plentiful clean and renewable resources here in Ireland. Maximising these resources will reduce our dependence on costly imported energy and improve Ireland’s standing as a sustainable and self-sufficient economy,” Dr. Cotter said.

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