Sunday 4 December 2016

How we use our energy has changed forever - but fracking is not on agenda

Alex White

Published 18/12/2015 | 02:30

'Our energy system is going to change from one that is almost exclusively led by government and utilities, to one where individuals and communities will increasingly be participants in energy efficiency and renewable energy generation and distribution'
'Our energy system is going to change from one that is almost exclusively led by government and utilities, to one where individuals and communities will increasingly be participants in energy efficiency and renewable energy generation and distribution'

This week, for the first time, an Irish government has adopted a policy for the eventual elimination of fossil fuels from our energy system. In keeping with the historic Paris climate change agreement, which was widely welcomed last weekend, we said that we would reduce Ireland's energy-related carbon emissions by between 80pc and 95pc by 2050, compared with 1990 levels.

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High-carbon fuels like peat and coal will be replaced by lower-carbon or renewable alternatives in the short to medium term, before fossil fuels are largely replaced by renewable energy sources by 2050. And greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector will fall to zero or below by 2100 at the latest.

For some, the size of this ambition may be hard to grasp. But the energy White Paper I have published heralds a complete change in the way that we generate, transmit, store, conserve and use energy.

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