NEW data released by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has shown that coal use in electricity generation fell by 70% in 2019, with Moneypoint electricity generating station operating at reduced capacity.
Meanwhile, latest EPA figures show emissions from Moneypoint dropped by almost two-thirds from 1.9 million tonnes of carbon in 2018 to 681,047 tonnes in 2019.
The data follows the announcement that there would be 100 job losses at the West Clare power station.
According to the SEAI, CO2 emissions from all energy use fell 3.9% in 2019, equivalent to 1.5 million tonnes of CO₂. This marks the biggest annual reduction in CO2 emissions since 2011, at the height of the last recession. Emissions in 2019 were 22% below 2005 levels, but are higher than 2014, when we emerged from recession.
The reduction in electricity generated by coal was partly made up by a 9% increase in wind generated electricity, which supplied almost one third of all electricity. The remainder of the shortfall came mostly from increased net imports of electricity.
Energy from all renewable sources grew by 6.5% in 2019 and accounted for 11% of all energy used.
Natural gas use grew by 2% and accounted for 32% of all energy use. Oil use increased by 0.6% and accounted for 50% of all energy use.
Import dependency (the share of energy imported, as opposed to sourced in Ireland) increased to 69%, up from 67% in 2018.