The International Energy Agency (IEA) said Monday Ireland has “successfully advanced the transformation” of its energy mix, especially in the power sector, Kallanish Energy learns.
In 2017, a quarter of Ireland’s total power generation came from wind, the third highest amongst the 30 IEA member countries. However, Ireland isn’t expected to meet emissions reduction targets by 2020, which may compromise 2030 goals.
The power grid still relies on fossil fuels, while the population and the consequent energy demand are expected to rise. The dispersed population is a challenge, as there is still a high percentage of oil-burning heating systems.
Policies have been put in place to decarbonize heat. As of January, all new buildings must install renewable energy systems to ensure the expansion of the building stock does not lock-in carbon fuel consumption.
Moreover, all carbon fuels are taxed, in order to reduce demand and enhance efficiency. However, unchanged since 2014, the carbon tax does not have as much impact on a wealthier population.
“Ireland has become a world leader in system integration of renewables thanks in large part to strong policies and commitment to innovation,” said Paul Simons, IEA deputy executive director, in a statement.
“Building on this success, we advise the government to urgently implement additional measures and monitor their progress to get the country back on track to meet its long-term climate targets,” he added.
A low-carbon energy system would ensure higher supply security, as Ireland has a limited amount of hydrocarbon resources and its location makes it challenging to tie into European markets.
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