Ireland’s Power Generation And Industrial Emissions Drop By 8.7 Percent In 2019

  • In 2019, greenhouse gas emissions from Irish power generation and industrial companies fell by 8.7 per cent
  • Emissions decreased by 65 per cent from the ESB coal-fired plant at Moneypoint
  • The decrease in industrial emissions collectively is 3 per cent
  • Greenhouse gas emissions from aviation rose by 2.8 per cent compared to 2018

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as the Competent Authority in Ireland for the EU Emissions Trading System, has today published details of greenhouse gas emissions in 2019, for companies in the system.  Emissions from Irish power generation and industrial companies in the EU Emission Allowance Trading System fell by 8.7 per cent (1.3 million tonnes) in 2019.  This mirrors a decrease of approximately 8.9 % across Europe.

The decrease in emissions is due to a significant drop in power generation emissions (a 12.3 per cent decrease) as a result of the strong presence of renewable energy – mainly wind generation – and less use of fossil fuels in our energy mix. Emissions decreased by 65 per cent from the ESB coal-fired plant at Moneypoint, again mainly due to the availability of renewables. 

Aside from power generation, the decrease in industrial emissions collectively is 3 per cent.

  • Cement industries recorded a 2 per cent decrease overall;
  • the dairy industry showed a 3 per cent decrease and
  • emissions from pharmachem industries also decreased by 0.4 per cent.


These decreases are welcome particularly as Ireland experienced strong economic growth in 2019.

Flights within the European Economic Area are also included in the EU Emissions Trading System. Aviation emissions from flights within the European Economic Area reported to Ireland rose by 2.8 per cent compared to 2018, to 12.77 million tonnes.

Dr Maria Martin, EPA Senior Manager, said:
“This is the third year in a row that we have seen a fall in greenhouse gas emissions from participants in the EU Emissions Trading System, mainly power generation and industry. This reflects a positive move to lower use of fossil fuels in electricity generation and an increase in renewables. Aside from power generation, the reductions have been more modest in other sectors and  attributable to a small number of players, with an increase recorded from aviation. We need to see consistent reductions in emissions across all sectors to reach our goal of a low-carbon economy.”

Further details about Emissions Trading are available on the EPA website. Further information about Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions is also available on our website and the EPA has developed this useful Infographic entitled Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions -sources and solutions.

For comparative purposes Ireland’s verified EU Emissions Trading System emissions since 2008 were as follows (keep in mind that from year to year the scope of the EU ETS can change somewhat as some installations close and new ones open):

Verified Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Mtonnes CO2) – Stationary Installations:

Year200820092010201120122013201420152016201720182019
CO220.3817.2217.3615.7716.8915.6815.9516.8317.7316.8915.5114.17