To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the extent to which the various forms of alternative energy production has been sufficiently progressed to meet European and/or UN targets with particular reference to carbon reduction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Bernard J. Durkan.
* For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 16th June, 2015.
(1297 Received on 11th June, 2015.)
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Alex White)
The EU’s 2020 targets for emissions reductions, renewable energy and energy efficiency form a cornerstone of EU energy policy. The EU aims to deliver a 20% improvement in energy efficiency, a 20% reduction in Green House Gas emissions and 20% of energy from renewable sources by 2020.
The 2009 EU Renewable Energy Directive set Ireland a legally binding target of meeting 16% of our energy requirements from renewable sources by 2020. In order to meet this target, Ireland is committed to meeting 40% of electricity demand from renewable sources, 12% renewables in the heating sector and 10% in transport. Policies and schemes are in place to incentivise the use of renewable energy. The REFIT schemes underpin the development of a range of renewable energy technologies. As regards energy efficiency, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is continuing to implement policy with the roll out of efficiency measures in homes and businesses throughout the country.
Ireland has made good progress with regard to renewable energy deployment. To date, wind energy has been the largest driver of growth in renewable electricity. Provisional figures provided by the SEAI for 2014 show that 8.6% of Ireland’s overall energy requirements were met by renewable energy. In addition, the SEAI has calculated that 22.6% of electricity, 6.7% of heat and 5.2% of transport demand was met from renewable sources.