Ireland’s 2020 Energy Targets Update
The European union have set out new energy efficiency regulations for each individual state to be carried out for the year 2020. The overall target for Ireland is 16% of total final consumption to come from renewable energy in 2020. This target will be made up of contributions from renewable energy in electricity, transport and energy for heating and cooling. The aim that the European union is trying to achieve is that 20% of all energy from countries within the EU are coming from a renewable source by the year 2020. Different targets are given to each country depending on total energy usage, for example, Sweden has a target of 49% while Malta has only a 10% target this is done in order to enable the European union as a whole to meet the energy target.
Ireland has reflected this commitment by adopting a national 20% target. The white paper also suggests an ambition to surpass the EU target with an indicative target of 30% energy efficiency by 2020. The public service is to take an exemplar role in energy efficiency with an added savings target of 33% by 2020. The renewed programme for government published in October 2009 stated a target of 3% annual average reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. However, with regard to renewable energy Ireland has only just reached past the half way mark towards the 2020 goals in 2015. Many people are sceptical about Ireland reaching the renewable energy goals by 2020. According to sustainable energy authority of Ireland’s report, the contribution of renewables to gross final consumption was 9.1% in 2015 which avoided 3.9 million tonnes of CO2 emissions and €426 million of fossil fuel imports. This is a good accomplishment for the country however it is still a long way off from the 16% target set by the EU.
If Ireland meets its 2020 energy efficiency targets it can result in some enormous benefits not only for the environment but also the economy including a net present value of €8 billion as a result of achieving the remaining savings required to meet the target according to an Irish energy target report.
The same report carried out by the sustainable energy authority of Ireland states that if Ireland fails to meet the targets set in place for the country it could lead to detrimental financial consequences. Experts believe that Ireland is at risk of failing to meet the 16% target by 3% in 2020. The European commission has highlighted the country’s laggard status by ranking Ireland 23rd out of 28 member states for renewable energy. Overall, failing to meet the quota on all forms of renewable energy will lead to a penalty of up to €120m for every 1% the state falls below target. This means a potential fine of up to €360 million on the state for noncompliance.
What can your organisation do to reduce energy costs?
By implmenting ISO 50001 energy management system, your company can help Ireland reach it’s 16% renewable energy goal by 2020. Applying this EnMS will ensure your company is accredited to the highest standard of energy management not only reducing your company’s carbon footprint but also Ireland’s and the EU’s resulting in a greener environment and avoiding increased taxes by noncompliance to EU regulations. Integrating ISO 50001 into your organisation also has financial benefits such as 10% savings on energy usage annually. ISO 50001 establishes a standard within your company that shows your customers and competitors that your organisation can efficiently manage energy in a responsible way.