€245m of fossil fuels cost saved by renewables, says report

5 Jun 2014

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) have published their latest report that indicated €245m was saved in fossil fuel costs in 2012 because of implemented renewable energies.

The report entitled “Quantifying Ireland’s Fuel and CO2 Emissions Savings from Renewable

Electricity in 2012” was published online by the organisation appearing to show that there was significant savings both in the country of Ireland and the entire island during that year thanks to increased power output from renewable energies, particularly wind turbines.

On top of the €245m saved directly from reduced consumption of fossil fuels, a further €15m was saved in terms of additional CO2 emission costs.

Of these total figures, wind energy can be attributed to €177m in fossil fuel savings along with €11m in terms of CO2 emissions.

In terms of a direct impact towards the average householder, the total fossil-fuel generation displaced by renewable electricity generation in the Republic of Ireland in 2012 is equivalent to the electricity demand of 780,000 Irish households.

Benefits north and south

Across the whole island, renewable energy is estimated to have displaced 1,043 ktoe of fossil-fuel, valued at €297 million with an associated CO2 emissions reduction of 2.85m tonnes, valued at €21m while wind generation contributed savings estimated at 826 ktoe (€225m) of fossil-fuel and a CO2 emissions reduction of 2.33m tonnes (€17m).

Speaking at the launch of the study, Dr Brian Motherway, CEO 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.  It is an important contribution to ensuring that the renewable energy debate is based upon facts and evidence.”

He concluded: “This report reinforces the critically important argument about the need for Ireland to make the most of our own national resources, keeping money in the Irish economy and gaining much needed greater independence in our energy system.”

Wind energy image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic