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“Ireland Faces Rising Energy Demands as Emissions Reductions Lag Behind Targets”

The Energy in Ireland report for 2023 underscores the nation’s dependence on imported fossil fuels, constituting 85.8% of the energy supply in 2022. Although 2022 saw a decline in energy-related CO2 emissions, it fell short of meeting climate obligations. Transport energy demand rebounded to 95% of pre-COVID levels in 2022, and current data indicates a further increase in petrol, diesel, and jet kerosene demand, potentially leading to higher transport emissions this year.

Despite a notable reduction in electricity emissions in the first nine months of 2023, attributed to importing over 9% of electricity, the report warns that this trend may change with evolving market dynamics or new EU legislation. Margie McCarthy, Director of Research and Policy Insights at SEAI, acknowledges progress in renewable electricity, home energy upgrades, and electric vehicle adoption but stresses the need for accelerated change to align with climate science and national obligations.

In a related report, the Behavioural Energy and Travel Tracker highlights the public’s reported efforts to save energy but identifies areas of inefficiency. Findings indicate widespread use of cars for short journeys, tumble dryer usage, heating empty spaces, and high thermostat settings. Notably, a significant portion of the population faces energy poverty risks, emphasising the importance of both individual energy efficiency and systemic change to address Ireland’s energy and climate challenges.

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