Energy Policies of IEA Countries: Ireland 1999

Energy Policy Review

About this report

The International Energy Agency's 1999 review of Ireland's energy policies and programmes. It finds that strong growth in the Irish economy poses considerable challenges for Ireland’s energy policy, but growth also provides resources for the Government to address energy policy issues in a manner consistent with economic and social objectives. This IEA report reviews all aspects of Irish energy policy. The sector is at present dominated by four state-owned bodies. In the electricity industry, the Electricity Supply Board may continue to dominate the market and impede the development of competition. In the gas industry, there is a need to develop new sources of supply to match growth in demand. Growth in demand for gas has given rise to concerns about the diversity of the fuel supply and security of supply. Peat will become the only domestic energy resource in a matter of years, unless new gas development occurs to replace the Ballycotton and Kinsale gas fields. There is no electricity interconnector other than to Northern Ireland, and the single gas interconnector is close to full capacity. Policies on peat have had social objectives. These objectives may not be compatible with economic efficiency and environmental objectives and could have implications for the future of the energy sector. The report also draws attention to the need to develop a comprehensive data base on greenhouse gas emissions. A new programme of energy efficiency measures is needed urgently to replace the present programme of the Irish Energy Centre. This report forms part of a series of periodic in-depth reviews conducted by the IEA on a four-year cycle. Short reviews of energy developments in all 24 IEA countries (including summaries of the year’s in-depth reviews) are published annually in Energy Policies of IEA Countries.