Fracking is not the way to reduce Ireland’s energy imports

Drilling

Ireland imports 89% of the energy it consumes during a year according to the last data release by Eurostat and 98% of this is supplied by fossil fuels. It is the 4th highest energy importer in the EU, after Malta, Luxembourg and Cyprus. Ireland’s high dependency on imported fossil fuels makes her vulnerable, because she has no control over her energy supply. Problems in other parts of the world can have a huge impact on Ireland.

However, drilling for local sources of gas or oil is the wrong answer. Using renewable energy sources, e.g. wind, solar, biomass and hydroelectric power, is the only way to reduce Ireland’s energy imports.

“We depend on fossil fuels to generate electricity, heat our homes and drive our cars. We need to change that and the right way is by generating energy from renewable sources”, said GEAI director Aedín McLoughlin. “Recent studies confirm that 80% of global fossil fuel reserves must be left in the ground to stop climate change and keep conditions on Earth suitable for humans. Fracking is not part of the solution, it is part of the problem.”

“Business as usual is not an option, we need to reduce our energy use and move towards a low carbon economy”, the GEAI director remarked.

”We have the solution at hand, we can power ourselves without endangering the planet. Ireland has great potential for wind, solar energy and biomass power. We are a small country but we can become a great example for the rest of the world. Our politicians must rise to the challenge and transform the current dull Climate Action Bill by including targets that will contribute towards a low-carbon world.”

Ireland is one of EU highest energy importers

Ian Britton CC BY-NC 2.0

Ian Britton CC BY-NC 2.0

Ireland imports 89% of its energy, making it one of the most energy import dependent countries in the EU, new data released by Eurostat shows. Ireland is the EU country with the fourth highest energy dependency, only Malta, Luxembourg and Cyprus higher than ourselves.  The European average is 53.2%.

Eurostat

Eurostat

Other countries of similar size to Ireland import far less and produce more energy from renewables. For example, Denmark only needs to import 12% of the energy that it consumes.  This small Scandinavian produces and exports oil and natural gas but it is also a European leader on renewable energy, producing almost the same amount of electricity from wind energy as from coal, and more heating from biomass than from coal. The Danish Goverment aims to supply 100% of its electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2050.

Eurostat released yesterday the new statistics about energy consumption in the EU, which show that the EU consumes the same amount energy as in the early 1990s. The peak was reached in 2006 and since then energy consumption has fallen by 9.1% in Europe, and 11% in Ireland. The two main reasons are the economic downturn (very severe in countries like Ireland) and also energy efficiency measures.

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