Ireland plans to reduce energy-related carbon emissions by up to 95 percent by 2050, compared to 1990 levels, and become carbon-free by 2100, according to the country's energy action plan released on Wednesday.
The Energy White Paper, the first of its kind to point the way to eventually eliminate fossil fuels in Ireland, outlines more than 90 actions to achieve the country's energy transition to a low carbon one.
Ireland's share of fossil fuels in total energy generation is 92 percent.
According to the white paper, "Ireland's energy transition will be facilitated by an accelerated and diversified program of renewable energy generation, and an increased focus on energy efficiency, facilitated by innovative financing. It promises strong regulation, effective markets, appropriate infrastructure and deeper European cooperation."
Other actions include, forming a National Energy Forum to "maximize and maintain consensus on policy measures," a new affordable energy strategy in 2016, a new public service energy efficiency plan in 2016, publication of a Renewable Electricity Policy and Development Framework, a variety of new regulatory frameworks and strategies in the different low-carbon energy sources and enhanced energy education programs.
"High-carbon fuels like peat and coal will give way to lower-carbon or renewable alternatives in the short to medium term, before fossil fuels are largely replaced by renewable energy sources by 2050," the paper underlines.
The official document adds that greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector will "fall to zero or below by 2100."
Speaking at the launch in Dublin's Mansion House, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Alex White, said "Ireland would eventually have to generate 100 percent of its energy needs from clean sources."
White believes that to achieve the ambitious degree of de-carbonization, all citizens need to be actively engaged in generation, transmission, storage, conservation and usage of energy through the energy policy's decision-making and implementation.
"The State will provide the support to enable energy consumers to become active energy citizens. 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," he stressed.
By Zeynep Beyza Kilic