According to new figures published, we are more reliant on imported energy than almost every other country in the European Union, 90% of our energy is imported, in comparison the UK imports 30% of its energy. Given our geographical make up we should be more active in renewable energy such as wind farms and we could also be a world leader in harnessing sea current energy from wave turbines, a new technology which was highlighted at the recent Climate Change Conference in Dublin. Our reliance on imported fossil fuels also puts us in a vulnerable condition regarding price hikes and conflicts as we saw with the Natural Gas worries following the Ukrainian conflict in 2014. The reports say that Ireland will not achieve the 2020 Clean Energy targets, and yet the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland report tells us that clean renewable energy has saved us €1 billion in fossil fuel imports. The point I would make is we cannot afford to miss the 2020 targets because we will face significant fines if we do.
I asked the Minister what measures are being taken by him and his Department to ensure Ireland reaches the 16% target for renewable energy by 2020.