Renewable electricity increased significantly in 2015, contributing a quarter of all electricity used and avoiding 3 million tonnes of fossil-fuel related CO2 emissions, according to a report published today by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). The report, Renewable Electricity in Ireland 2015,[pdf 983kB] shows that renewables contributed the second largest source of electricity last year behind gas and ahead of coal.
Over 80% of renewable electricity generated in Ireland came from wind power accounting for three quarters of the avoided CO2 emissions. The remaining renewable electricity came from a range of technologies, including hydropower, biomass, waste and landfill gas. The contribution from biomass and renewable wastes includes biomass combined heat and power; co-firing in Edenderry peat-fired power plant; and approximately half of the waste consumed in the waste-to-energy plant in Meath.
Commenting on the figures Dr Eimear Cotter, SEAI Head of Low Carbon Technologies said “Ireland is making significant progress in decarbonising our electricity system. Renewable energy accounted for a quarter of our electricity requirements in 2015, dramatically reducing fossil fuel imports. It also avoided 3 million tonnes of CO2 being released into the atmosphere, contributing to action on climate change. In addition, the economy benefits from the use of local and indigenous renewable energy which brings with it local jobs and enterprise opportunities.