Solar generation capacity saw an increase over the course of the year. Image: Pixabay.
Solar generation capacity saw an increase over the course of the year. Image: Pixabay.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released a new paper signalling that Ireland has the highest electricity demand growth rate in Europe with solar capacity growing.

The Electricity 2024 report identifies common trends from across the global energy markets and it comes as no surprise that Ireland’s growing demand for electricity was highlighted as one of the biggest topics from across the year.

Ireland has seen its electricity demand rise by 2% making it one of the few countries in Europe to record an increase in 2023. Across the year, a 17% fall year-on-year (YoY) was recorded for coal generation alongside a modest decline in gas-fired output of 1.2%.

Renewable generation remained stable as increases in solar, hydro and biomass generation were outweighed by a decline in wind. Despite this, it is worth mentioning that wind generation made up about 33% of total power generation in 2023.

According to the IEA, Ireland is forecast to have the highest demand growth rate in Europe for electricity demand and consumption, where it is expected to rise by, on average, almost 7% per year.

Interestingly, data centres are expected to contribute hugely to this with the nation braced to see a rapid expansion in this sector. Irish data centres are estimated to have consumed around 5.3TWh of electricity in 2022, up by 31% in 2021. This is around 17% of the country’s electricity demand and almost equal to the consumption in all urban dwellings, the IEA said.

Renewables are also set to see growth of around 13% between 2024 and 2026 largely driven by the growth of the wind sector both onshore and offshore.

This article was first published on our sister site Current±.