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Ireland’s Energy-Related Emissions Hit Lowest Levels in 30 Years

In 2023, Ireland made significant strides in reducing its energy-related emissions, marking a decrease of over 7%.

However, despite this progress, the nation remains off course to align with its 2021-2025 carbon budget, as highlighted in a recent report by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). The report reveals that energy-related emissions have plummeted to their lowest levels in three decades, with a notable 21% decline in emissions from electricity generation.

This decline is credited largely to Ireland’s historic increase in electricity imports through interconnectors, surpassing the previous year’s figures by twelvefold. These imports facilitated a reduction in fossil fuel-based generation within the country. Notably, while Ireland’s demand for electricity saw a 3% uptick in 2023, domestic electricity generation experienced a 6.7% decrease due to the heightened reliance on imported electricity.

Furthermore, the report underscores Ireland’s achievements in renewable energy, with record-high installations of wind, solar, and heat-pump technologies. For instance, solar electricity generation soared by over 300% in 2023, though it still represents a modest 1.9% of Ireland’s overall electricity supply, as per the SEAI.

Despite these positive developments, the SEAI cautions that additional measures are imperative. It stresses that Ireland must intensify its efforts, emphasizing the necessity to achieve annual reductions in energy-related and industrial emissions exceeding 11% for both 2024 and 2025 to meet overarching emission targets.

The report also made note that Ireland is heavily dependent on both fossil fuels and imported energy, which accounts for more than 80% of the country’s energy costs.

“The reduction in energy-related emissions in 2023 is encouraging, it shows movement in the right direction in some sectors,” said Margie McCarthy, SEAI director of research and policy insights. “It is clear from the data that pace is critical. We have no time to wait.

“We must redouble our collective efforts to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. This must be driven by increased Government supports, full and timely realisation of our climate action plans, and importantly support from wider society through citizen and community action.”

The report urges that immediate action is needed in Ireland’s transport sector, as petrol and diesal demands have returned to almost pre-Covid levels.

(Source: Silicon Republic)


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