Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Questions (239)

Bernard Durkan


239. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the extent to which the switch to indigenous alternative non-fossil fuels for electricity generation is progressing, with particular reference to the need to meet international deadlines and move to electric cars; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14517/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

The most recent Energy in Ireland report was published in December 2018 by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. Details of the proportions of electricity generated from oil, gas, coal, wind, solar or other renewable sources are available in Table 8 “Growth rates, quantities and shares of electricity generated by fuel”on page 29 of the report.

The EU Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC set Ireland a legally binding target of meeting 16% of our energy requirements from renewable sources by 2020. Ireland is committed to achieving this target through meeting 40% of electricity demand, 12% of heat and 10% of transport from renewable sources of energy. The SEAI analysis states that 10.6% of Ireland's overall energy requirements in 2017 were met from renewable sources. This avoided 4.1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions and €439 million of fossil fuel imports. Overall, Ireland achieved 30.1% of electricity, 6.9% of heat and 7.4% of transport energy requirements using renewable energy sources in 2017.

Electric vehicles have a number of significant benefits, not least the fact that they have zero tail pipe emissions and are more efficient in terms of their energy use when compared with conventional vehicles. There is also a significant added benefit for Ireland in that their use can displace imported oil products with clean renewable electricity produced from indigenous resources.

Decarbonising our electricity supply is a crucial part of reducing our overall emissions. We are stepping up our ambition on renewable energy - by 2030, I have committed to 70% of our electricity being generated from renewable sources.