Ireland is “unlikely” to meet the EU energy targets for 2020 unless there is more support from the Government.
That’s according to the EU-funded ‘Sustainable Energy for the Rural Village Environment’ (SERVE) project, which claims around 90,000 buildings will need significant energy upgrades every year until 2020 but less than 50,000 buildings will do so this year.
The upgrades are essential for the nation to achieve its legal obligations under the EU Energy Efficiency Directive, which is aimed at increasing energy efficiency in households, industries and transport sectors. It includes a 20% energy efficiency target by 2020 as well as 20% renewable energy and carbon reduction targets.
The research suggested a reduction in public support for efficient measures and lack of Government and public investment in energy efficient projects were the main causes of the low figure. It claims only 25% of people this year felt the environment should be given priority compared to 37% in 2010 due to the economic crisis.
Seamus Hoyne, Manager of the SERVE project said: “Unless there is Government intervention, Ireland faces possible EU fines and a situation whereby Irish householders and businesses will continue to waste millions of euros each year on heating poorly insulated and energy inefficient buildings.
“Only full implementation of the National Energy Retrofit Programme, development of alternative financing measures, increased public investment in energy efficient projects and a national shift in opinion in favour of energy efficiency measures, will ensure Ireland achieves its legal obligations under the EU Energy Efficiency Directive.”