Electricity from Renewable Energy Sources in Ireland
[Text and Figure from SEAI – Energy in Ireland 1990 – 2014; 2015 Report; Report prepared by Energy Policy Statistical Support Unit – November 2015] LINK
Ireland said that by 2020, 40% of the electricity we would use, would come from renewable sources. In the year 2014, 22,7% of our electricity came from renewable energy. This can be compared with 20.1% in 2013 and 4.9% in 1990 – an increase of almost 18% over 24 years. Most of this increase has taken place since 2000 and mostly from wind energy.
The diagram above shows us how electricity sources have changed between 1990 and 2014. As you can see:
- Wind energy accounts for 18,2% of overall electricity consumption (81% of total green energy);
- Hydro accounts for 2.6% (3% of total green energy);
- Biomass – biomass, landfill gas and biogas – accounts for 1.9% (8% of total green energy).
[Source: EPA website – Section “What is Climate Change?”] LINK
Analysis of the meteorological records shows that Ireland’s climate is changing in line with global patterns.
Indicators of temperature trend
The clearest trend can be seen in the temperature records which show a mean temperature increase of 0.7° between 1890 and 2008.
- Six of the ten warmest years in Ireland have occurred since 1990;
- A reduction in the number of frost days and shortening of frost season length;
- An increase in annual rainfall in northern and western areas with decreases or small increases in the south and east.
These changes are reflected in Ireland’s natural environment with a longer growing season and a larger population of animals suited to warmer temperatures being evident in Ireland and its surrounding waters.
Ocean Acidification is a very important issue and this as harmful effects on marine organisms. It can disrupt the global marine ecosystems.
Future Adverse Impacts
Climate change impacts are projected to increase in the coming decades and during the rest of this century. The scale and extent of these impacts are unclear, and depend on how effective global actions will be in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Predicted adverse impacts include:
- Sea level rise;
- More intense storms and rainfall events;
- Increased likelihood and magnitude of river and coastal flooding and water shortages in summer in the east;
- Adverse impacts on water quality;
- Changes in distribution of plant and animal species;
- Effects on fisheries sensitive to changes in temperature.