Electricity pylon and cables in the night sky

Renewable electricity saves Ireland €245 million in 2012

Fossil fuel consumption lowered and CO2 emissions reduced by 1.9 million tonnes

The Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI) has this month released a report showing that usage of renewable electricity significantly reduced consumption of electricity generated from gas, coal and peat.

According to the report, this reduction helped save Ireland €245 million in the cost of fossil fuels during 2012. It also reduced greenhouse gases / CO2 emissions by 1.9 million tonnes.

“We now have a thorough and robust study which sets out the significant energy security and cost benefits that Ireland can realise from using wind and other renewable based electricity” commented Mr Pat Rabbitte, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.

He also added that Ireland needed to continue along the path of renewable energy and sustainability in a way that respected local communities and circumstances.

According to the report, electricity from these sources now supplies sufficient power to more than three quarters of a million Irish homes (approximately 780,000), based on current figures.

Dr. Brian Motherway, the Chief Executive Officer of SEAI, said “This study is most comprehensive in the way it analyses the real-time operation of the all-island electricity system.  The analysis definitively addresses factors frequently cited as significant by renewable energy opponents, showing that the benefits are still substantial.”

He also stated that it was vitally important that Ireland make the most of its own national resources to help keep money in the Irish economy and to achieve greater energy independence.

Wind generation was considered to be the largest contributor to the cost reductions achieved. It is thought that over the last decade, total energy savings in the region of some €750 million have been made by organisations participating in the SEAI Sustainable Energy Awards programme.

The report also evaluated other factors such as network infrastructure limits, availability of generators within the Irish electricity system, wind patterns and electricity trade across borders.