Energy Transition Readiness Index ranks Republic or Ireland’s renewable readiness with UK and France
Irish people and politicians prioritise inflation over the switch to green energy, according to a survey published on Wednesday.
This year’s Energy Transition Readiness Index (ETRI) shows a growing awareness in the Republic of the need to swap fossil fuels for renewables.
“There is a high political and public consensus on the need for the energy transition, but the costs involved are not well communicated, creating doubt that they are properly understood,” it says.
“High inflation and cost of living concerns are a higher political and public priority than the energy transition, impacting confidence in policies to implement the transition.”
The study, by the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology, sponsored by power management specialist, Eaton and investor, Foresight Group, weighs 14 countries’ readiness to switch away from fossil fuels.
It shows that those fuels continue to generate more than 60 per cent of the Republic’s electricity. Natural gas accounts for most of this, alongside coal and oil, although renewables, particularly wind, have grown strongly over the last decade.
The report notes that most countries are moving to wind- and solar-generated electricity, which depend on the weather and so are not available all the time.
It argues that as countries race to invest in these systems, they will need to match this with spending on “low carbon electricity resources, for example, flexible demand or storage” to ensure security of electricity supplies.
The Republic scores a “high 3″ out of a maximum of five on the index, ranking it behind Scandinavia and Finland, but alongside neighbours the UK, France and the Netherlands.
The Government wants renewable generators to supply 80 per cent of Irish electricity by 2030, even as demand rises by one third to 45 terra watt hours a-year.
The index notes that this would need wind- and solar-power’s contribution to treble over the next seven years.
In terms of the technology that would aid the Republic’s consumers to make the switch, the report shows that just 30 out of every 1,000 homes has a heat pump, but more than half now have smart electricity meters.
There are 38,000 electric vehicles on our roads, accounting for 1.4 per cent of the total. However, they make up 15 per cent of new registrations.
Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas