SEAI announce growth in renewables and fall in energy prices

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The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has announced that Ireland's renewable energy production is growing, and claimed that Ireland is "one of the world’s leading countries in the use of wind energy for electricity generation".

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has announced that Ireland's renewable energy production is growing, and claimed that Ireland is "one of the world’s leading countries in the use of wind energy for electricity generation".

SEAI’s report reveals that the share of electricity generated from renewable energy sources in 2009 was 14.4%, two-thirds of which was from wind, meaning Ireland is on track to fulfill government targets (15%) on renewable electricity this year. Construct Ireland reported last year that Ireland is now ranked fourth in the world for production of wind power.

In 2009, renewable energy sources generated enough electricity to power 750,000 homes. While there has been growth in the use of renewable energy for heating and transport too, progress is slower in these areas, SEAI said.

In the second half of 2009, SEAI reported that Irish electricity and gas prices fell for all consumers. Electricity and gas prices for householders, when adjusted for affordability differences between EU countries, were cheaper than the EU average by an average of 13% for the typical consumer.

Electricity prices for householders fell by a range of approximately 4% to 12% for small and medium consumers. In absolute terms Irish electricity prices remain 7% above the EU average for all but the very largest household consumers. Most householders also witnessed an 8.5% to 18% drop in the price of gas, SEAI said.

For businesses, electricity prices declined by 5% to 10%. Electricity prices to business remain above the EU average, thought they are moving closer to the average for most businesses according to SEAI.

Commenting on the reports unveiled today energy minister Eamon Ryan said: “I am encouraged by both these reports – clearly significant progress has been made on all fronts, and we are well positioned to meet our government target of 15% of power being generated by renewable energy sources this year. That being said, we need to increase our efforts, particularly, in the areas of renewable transport and heat sources.”

Professor Owen Lewis, chief executive of SEAI said: “This is a good starting point. The renewable energy statistics show a real opportunity for Ireland, but challenges still remain and more progress is needed if we are to realise the benefits that renewable energy offers and improve our energy security.”

He continued: “Energy prices, so key to our competitiveness, have  fallen in the latter half of 2009, and no doubt, were welcomed across the board by householders and businesses alike. I think it is hugely positive that we have a situation where energy prices have fallen in Ireland, and at the same time the country makes significant progress on renewable energy.”

The latest data on renewabls are contained in two reports. The first, Renewable Energy 2010 Update, can be downloaded here, while the second, Electricity and Gas Prices in Ireland, can be found here

Last modified on Wednesday, 26 May 2010 16:28

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