Energy efficiency is vital to Ireland achieving its renewable energy targets
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has today published a report detailing the actions needed to meet our energy efficiency and renewable energy targets by 2020, which will also help us to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Key among the actions required is a trebling of the number of home and business energy upgrades carried out each year.
The report, ‘Ireland’s Energy Targets – Progress, Ambition and Impacts’, launched at SEAI’s annual Energy Show, highlights the importance of reducing our energy demand in order to make Ireland’s renewable energy targets achievable.
Commenting at the SEAI Energy Show, Dr Eimear Cotter, Head of Low Carbon Technologies with SEAI said: “Meeting our energy targets represent a huge economic and societal opportunity for the country – an opportunity too good to let pass. This report is the first of its kind to give a sense of the scale of what needs to be done to meet our binding EU energy targets by 2020. It demonstrates that the energy system must be looked at in its entirety with energy use in transport, and heat and power generation all inextricably linked – with efficiency and renewables options in all sectors.”
Dr Cotter continued: “The report highlights that while 40,000 homes and 550 businesses are already using some form of renewable heat technologies, this level needs to increase sevenfold. The scale of the challenge is equally evident in the transport sector. The use of biofuels added to traditional transport fuels needs to treble. And new electric vehicle registrations need to grow from less than 1% of new car sales to 20% within the next five years.”
Concluding Dr Cotter said: “We have made substantial progress to date but continued action across all of society is required if we are to move Ireland’s energy system onto a low carbon pathway.”
Other benefits of achieving the 2020 targets could mean:
- Ireland avoiding costly compliance fines associated with energy and emissions reductions targets
- Renewable electricity displacing €750m worth of imported energy per annum/annually
- Avoiding 15m tonnes of CO2 emissions
- Macro-economic benefits, as well as the creation thousands of new jobs
Over the two days of the Energy Show (April 6th and 7th), up to 4,000 energy experts, business owners and professionals from all sectors are expected to gather in the RDS to learn about the latest energy saving technologies available to them.
Companies like Kingspan ESB who are offering rooftop solar photovoltaic to businesses – essentially using industrial roof space to generate solar energy. This innovative solution means no upfront installation costs for the business, while providing substantial energy cost savings through the renewable energy generated. The future of renewable electricity based high efficiency storage heating from Glen Dimplex will also be on display. As well as highlighting cutting edge energy innovations coming down the line, the Energy Show also showcase companies like Enprova, who are helping oil companies meet their energy efficiency obligations through home and business upgrades. These are players in a market which is currently estimated to be worth €1.5 billion per annum to Ireland.