13/04/2018

Irish Carbon Emissions Almost 60% Above EU Average - Report

A new report has revealed that carbon emissions in Ireland are among the highest in Europe, with Ireland beating the European average by 58%.

According to the report, published by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), the increase is due to the greater use of high-carbon fuels including oil, coal and peat. 15% of energy used in Irish households is from direct use of coal and peat, which is counted under the heading "coal". These are the two most carbon intensive fuels, and Ireland uses more of them per dwelling than any other EU member state, apart from Poland.

Ireland's electricity also remains amongst the most carbon intensive in the EU, despite significant ongoing improvements.

The report also states that Ireland households use 7% more energy than the average EU home.

One factor leading to above average household energy consumption in Ireland, compared to other EU countries, is the larger average floor area of Irish dwellings. In statistics from both 2000 and 2014, the average Irish dwelling was amongst the largest in the EU.

Between 2014 and 2016, there has been a 6.7% increase in CO2 despite there being a 25% decrease from 2006 to 2014. The 'Energy In The Residential Sector' report states potential reasons for this number, including a fall in oil prices combined with an increase in disposable incomes leading to higher energy consumption.

According to the published statistics, space heating takes up the majority of energy used in an average Irish home with 61%, followed by water heating with 19%, lighting and appliances with 17%, and cooking at a low 3% in comparison.

Only 3% of average household energy usage was from renewables, with the majority usage of oil at 37%.

SEAI said that there is an urgent need to tackle the issues of high energy and carbon emissions, adding Ireland needs to do more to reduce over-reliance on fossil fuels and invest in energy improvements in homes.

(CM/LM)

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