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Electricity in Ireland in 2022

Global Ranking: #33
38.6% #86 Low-carbon electricity
781.10 watts #43 Generation / person
343.73 gCO2eq/kWh #69 Carbon Intensity
0.8% net imports Electricity imports

In 2022, Ireland's electricity consumption was primarily derived from fossil fuels, accounting for more than half of the total output at around 61%. Within this group, gas generation was particularly dominant, contributing almost 49% while coal use was significantly lower at around 7%. In contrast, low-carbon energy sources, both nuclear and renewable, constituted nearly 39% of the total electricity generation. Wind energy played a significant role within this category with a contribution of about 33%, followed by biofuels at just over 3%. Hydro and solar energy, on the other hand, represented approximately 2% and less than 1% respectively. Additionally, net imports of electricity in Ireland accounted for less than 1% of the total usage.


The energy landscape of Ireland reveals potential for expansion and transition towards more sustainable and low-carbon electricity generation. As a strong wind energy producer, scaling up existing wind power infrastructure could significantly increase the contribution of this clean source to the country's energy mix. Drawing inspiration from countries with successful low-carbon energy models could also be beneficial. For example, Denmark, a country with climatic conditions and geographical features relatively similar to Ireland, generates more than half of its electricity from wind energy. Furthermore, Ireland could consider exploring nuclear energy to diversify its low-carbon energy portfolio. Many countries, including France, Ukraine, and Slovakia, successfully derive more than half of their electricity from this source.


Looking at the historical developments in Ireland, it's evident that the country has made considerable strides in the adoption of low-carbon electricity generation. In the early 2000s, there was slight fluctuation in hydro energy generation, but clear sustained growth in the use of wind power. The wind energy sector saw continued growth throughout the first two decades of the 21st century. There was consistent expansion in wind energy output every year from 2005 to 2020, with the exception of 2012 and 2016. Particularly in 2020, there was a substantial surge in wind electricity generation, increasing by 2.2 TWh from the previous year. This trend underscores the potential of wind as a sustainable energy source for Ireland's clean energy future.

Data Sources

For the years 1980 to 1984 the data sources are EIA and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 1985 to 1989 the data sources are Energy Institute and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 1990 to 1999 the data source is IEA.
For the years 2000 to 2010 the data source is Ember.
For the years 2011 to 2019 the data source is IEA.
For the years 2020 to 2022 the data source is Ember.