SEAI says Ireland’s transition to more sustainable energy is under way.
Ireland’s transition to cleaner energy and sustainability has begun but the challenge ahead is vast and unprecedented, warns the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).
In its annual report for 2021, SEAI detailed how more than 11,300 homes were made more efficient, including 2,272 energy-poor homes, and how more than 4,000 domestic solar PV systems were supported.
“As we hope to emerge from the pandemic in 2022, it’s likely that much of the emissions reductions that occurred due to lock-down measures and other Covid impacts will be eliminated”
It revealed that 3,300 businesses are now supported through the SEAI Energy Academy and that the public sector is 29% more energy-efficient than it was in 2009.
2021 was a record year for Irish sustainable energy transition
2021 was made a record year through the Irish Government’s €196m in sustainable energy transition.
As a result, more than 11,300 homes are more comfortable and efficient, there are 13,400 more electric vehicles EVs in use, 600 communities are planning their own clean energy transition.
However, SEAI CEO William Walsh said these achievements are just a base to build upon and said the next decade must see Ireland outperform these achievements.
“The last year has seen a further increase in activity across our programmes, grants and services,” Walsh said. “We have now built up a strong momentum and appetite for change among business, the public sector, communities, and home and vehicle owners. This comes at a vital time as the challenge ahead is unprecedented.
“Only sustained year-on-year emissions reductions will see us meet our targets and make our national contribution to the global aim of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees. Our ambition over the next decade is to far outstrip the rates of change previously achieved. Ireland needs to dramatically shift away from fossil fuel use for electricity, heat and transport as a national priority.”
Walsh said Ireland has had significant success in decarbonising electricity but the shift towards renewable energy and energy efficient technologies has not been fast enough to curb rising greenhouse gas emissions from heat and transport activities.
“As we hope to emerge from the pandemic in 2022, it’s likely that much of the emissions reductions that occurred due to lock-down measures and other Covid impacts will be eliminated.”
“We have learned a lot from past efforts. We continue to work with all stakeholders to optimise schemes and improve offerings to drive emissions reductions from our energy system. We are now able to engage with almost every sector of Irish life to support the necessary changes.”
Walsh said there is no time for delay. “We encourage businesses of all sizes and all citizens to engage in the conversations, utilise existing supports and make whatever changes they can to move away from fossil fuel use now.
“We all must be part of the societal movement to an efficient energy system built on renewable energy sources. The quicker that we achieve this, the sooner the broad range of benefits will flow to Irish businesses and citizens in the form of cheaper to run, warmer and healthier buildings, improved air quality, increased business competitiveness, improved security of energy supply and many others. In making the transition we will make discoveries that will need to be shared internationally to support global success in addressing the climate crisis.”