Thursday, 24 January 2019

Ceisteanna (41)

Bernard Durkan


41. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the extent to which the electricity generating capacity reliance on fossil fuels has been reduced in the past five years; the degree to which clean energy alternatives have been developed in the same period; the current and expected capacity in this regard in the foreseeable future with particular reference to the development of realistic and reliable alternatives to conventional fuels with a view to meeting carbon target reductions and avoidance of internationally set penalties or fines; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3378/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

EirGrid have estimated that renewable electricity as a percentage of demand has risen from 23.5% in 2014 to approximately 35% in 2018. Details in relation to All-Island electricity system demand and fuel mix are publicly available on the EirGrid website at This includes information on the number, type and generating capacity of plants on the system. EirGrid’s recent “All-Island Generation Capacity Statement” published in 2018 also gives further details of the electricity fuel mix (2017) from different energy sources for both Ireland and Northern Ireland. The total amount of renewable generation connected to the electricity grid at November 2018 was 3,938 Mega Watts (MW), of which wind generation was approximately 3,610 MW, hydro was 238 MW and biomass was 91 MW. EirGrid estimates that a total of between 3,900 MW and 4,300 MW of onshore renewable generation capacity will be required to allow Ireland to achieve 40% renewable electricity by 2020.

The Energy in Ireland 2018 Report (Table 11, page 34) from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) published in December 2018 shows the degree to which electricity production from renewable energy sources has increased over the last five years. Looking forward to the projected renewable electricity capacity needed to meet Ireland's energy and climate ambitions, EirGrid's “Tomorrow’s Energy Scenarios 2017 (July 2017) maps out possible four future scenarios covering the years 2020 to 2040.