Tuesday, December 17 15:41:13
While the economy showed modest growth in 2012, Ireland's energy use fell 4.6pc according to the annual Energy in Ireland (2013) report published by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).
Almost one fifth of Irish electricity now comes from renewable sources, cutting around E300 million from Ireland's fossil fuel imports last year. Electricity generated from renewables has increased eightfold since 1990.
Launching the report, Chief Executive of SEAI Brian Motherway said: "The energy productivity of Ireland's economy has been improving steadily over recent years, with progress in all sectors. We are moving in the right direction, but there is no room for complacency. We still import 85pc of our energy and this bill grew to E6.5 billion in 2012. This underlines the need to move from imported fossil fuels to indigenous renewables, and to achieve further efficiency gains."
"The typical Irish home now emits 40pc less CO2 than was the case 20 years ago. But we need to achieve even greater savings with further investment in energy upgrades, not only in our homes but in all buildings. Investing in energy efficiency, particularly in our buildings sector, can play an important role in our economic recovery by supporting jobs and strengthening business competitiveness," Dr. Motherway concluded.
The report also states that: energy use fell in all sectors since 2007, with transport down 27pc, industry 13pc and buildings 16pc.
Since 2007, Ireland's economy contracted by 7.3pc, while energy demand fell by 19pc and related CO2 emissions fell by 21pc.
Average CO2 emissions for new cars fell by 24pc since 2007 and are now lower than the required EU target.
Provisional figures show that Ireland will meet its greenhouse gas emissions target for the Kyoto period 2008 - 2012.