A total of 12.5% of Ireland’s total energy requirement came from renewables in 2021. The figures are contained in a new report from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).
The report shows that around 36.4% of electricity came from renewable sources, 5.2% in heat and 4.3% transport.
Overall, Ireland’s energy-related CO2 emissions increased by 5.7% last year. The report details that emissions are returning to pre-Covid levels of 2019, and further increases are anticipated based on initial data for 2022. This is despite Ireland committing to reducing its CO2 emissions by 4.8% per annum from 2021- 2025 under the first carbon budget.
A rebound in car use after the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions is a significant contributor to Ireland’s increased emissions. Energy demand for transport rose by 7.1% from 2020.
Another key source was in energy production. Due to a low wind year for renewable generation in 2021, we used more coal and oil for electricity generation, which increased the carbon intensity of our electricity by 12.5%.
The report shows that the increase in 2021 emissions was driven by electricity generation (up 17.3%), transport (up 7.3%) and industry (up 3.3%) and compensated by decreases in residential (6.1%) and commercial and public services (2.7%) emissions.
Agricultural energy emissions, which account for just 2.2% of total energy emissions increased by 0.2%
Preliminary data for 2022 suggests that energy-related emissions have increased further, putting us even further behind our targets than anticipated.