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IRI March 22, 2011 0 Comments

Ireland presses ahead with own plans to meet targets

At a one-day summit in early February 2011, European Leaders accepted that Europe is not on track to meet its target for reducing energy use by 20 per cent by 2020 but stopped short of recommending binding legislation.

The EU target of consuming 20% less energy by 2020 was first presented by the European Commission in October 2006. It was meant to enhance Europe’s energy security, help counter climate change, and make cost savings. In 2007, an action plan for energy efficiency proposed measures to achieve a 1.5% savings per year until 2012. It estimated that energy savings of 27% and 30% could be made in residential and commercial buildings. Manufacturing industry energy use could be cut by a quarter, while a 26% reduction for transport was identified.


Member states committed to submitting national action plans to the EU executive under the Energy End-Use Efficiency and Energy Services Directive by June 2007. The plans were supposed to outline how each country meant to reach a 16% savings target of by 2016. But progress has been slow and the Commission admits that on current trends, a far more modest saving of around 11% is more likely.


Meanwhile in Ireland, outgoing Minister Carey announced a consultation process on an update to Ireland’s Energy Efficiency Action Plan. “Ireland’s first Action Plan succeeded in focusing national energy policy on measures which can deliver a sustainable energy future. The actions outlined in the NEEAP have the potential to create jobs, to cut emissions, to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and to save money for energy consumers.”


Ireland is required to submit a second National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP) by end-June 2011 in accordance with the provisions of the Energy Services Directive. The purpose of the consultation is to seek the views of industry and other key stakeholders on our progress to date and on measures that may be considered in the context of completing our second action plan.


“Our second National Energy Efficiency Action Plan needs to be even more ambitious to meet economic and energy saving challenges in the years ahead. In particular the public sector will have a leadership role in reducing energy demand across our economy. I encourage all interested stakeholders to have their say in helping us meet our challenging targets”, the Minister added.