Ireland among EU's most energy-dependent members


The Sunday Business Post reports that Ireland has the fourth-highest energy dependence rate in Europe according to a new study.

Eurostat, the European Union’s statistical office, has published its latest study of energy consumption and production across the 27 EU member states, based on data collected for 2006.

One of the key statistics surveyed by Eurostat was each country’s energy dependence rate - which expresses a country’s net imports of energy as a percentage of its gross energy consumption. A negative dependency rate indicates the country is a net exporter of energy.

In 2006, Cyprus had the highest energy dependency rate in Europe at 102 per cent, followed by Malta at 100 per cent and Luxembourg at 99 per cent. Ireland was fourth with an energy dependency rate of 91 per cent, which indicates that we produced just nine per cent of the energy we consumed. The European average energy dependency rate stood at under 54 per cent.

Only one EU member state, Denmark, produced more energy than it consumed. In 2006, it was a net exporter of energy, with an energy dependency rate of minus 37 per cent.

The study found that gross energy consumption across Europe remained unchanged between 2005 and 2006. Finland recorded the highest increase in energy consumption between 2005 and 2006, with a jump of more than nine per cent. Ireland recorded a more modest increase of 2.6 per cent. During the same period, energy production in Europe decreased by 2.3 per cent.

However, Irish production fell by only 1.2 per cent. Nuclear power accounted for 29 per cent of all energy produced in Europe in 2006, while 22 per cent of the energy came from solid fuels and 20 per cent came from gas. A further 15 per cent came from renewable sources and the remaining 14 per cent came from crude oil.

As part of its study, Eurostat compared historical figures for energy consumption and production across Europe. Between 1997 and 2006, energy production in Europe fell by nine per cent, while consumption rose by 7 per cent.

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Source - The Sunday Business Post