Irish renewable energy use up 15%

The usage of renewable energy in Ireland increased by 15% last year, according to a newly-published report by promotional body Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI).

Entitled Energy in Ireland 1990-2006, the report found that wind energy increased by a huge 46% in 2006, contributing five per cent to the country’s total energy requirements for the year and saving 2.2m tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Overall energy usage increased by nearly 1%, but the emissions associated with electricity generation actually decreased by 1.8%.

Each kWh of power emitted 601 grams of CO2 – a reduction of 5.6% compared to 2005.

In terms of the industry sector, CO2 emissions rose by 0.6 per cent, but the report noted that energy efficiency in industry has improved by 15% since the mid-1990s.

SEI chief executive David Taylor said: “Embracing green sustainable energy is fundamental to Ireland’s economic development.”

At a speech in Dublin recently, former US Vice President and climate change activist Al Gore said that business in Ireland had a “key role” to play in reducing emissions.

Ben Meggeson

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