Manufacturing & industry

In 2019 the manufacturing combustion sector was responsible for 7.7% of Ireland's total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions



Summary of Manu_Ind HG emissions trends 2019

Current trends

  • GHG emissions decreased by 2.0% in Manufacturing Combustion in 2019
  • The largest reductions have been seen in the food processing sub-sector (-8%) along with non-metallic minerals, which includes cement (-3.8%)
  • This is the first decrease in combustion and process emissions in the cement sector since 2013


  • There was a switch from coal in the food processing sector and in the non-metallic minerals sub-sector, where there was also reduced petroleum coke consumption (in the cement industry)


  • Emissions projected to increase under both scenarios modelled due to increases in production and hence increases in combustion emissions
  • Emissions may decrease if energy efficiency programmes are further developed

Manufacturing combustion sector

This section shows emissions from manufacturing combustion of fuels in industry. It also includes combustion for combined heat and power for own use in these industries. Emissions from the combustion of fuels in manufacturing decreased by 2.0% or 0.01 Mt CO2eq in 2019 compared to 2018 emissions. There were small increases in combustion emissions for a number of the sub-sectors including non-ferrous metals & chemicals but the larger reductions in the food processing (8.0%) and cement sub-sector (3.8%) meant an overall 2% reduction in the manufacturing and construction industry sector was realised. 

Under the With Existing Measures (WEM) scenario, emissions from manufacturing combustion are projected to increase by 10.2% between 2020 and 2030 to 4.6 Mt CO2eq.
Under the With Additional Measures (WAM) scenario, emissions from manufacturing combustion are projected to increase by 2.1% between 2020 and 2030 to 4.3 Mt CO2eq. This scenario assumes further rollout of energy efficiency programmes such as SEAI Large Industry Programmes, Accelerated Capital Allowances and the Excellence in Energy Efficiency Design (EXEED) programme.

Industrial processes sector emissions

In 2019 the industrial processes sector was responsible for 3.8% and F-Gases 1.5% of Ireland's total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions


Industrial processes sector

The industrial processes sector estimates greenhouse gas emissions occurring from industrial processes, from the use of greenhouse gases in products, and from non-energy uses of fossil fuel carbon. Emissions from the industrial processes sector decreased 1.5% (0.04 Mt CO2eq) in 2019 when compared to 2018. Total process emissions from the mineral products subsector (including cement) decreased by 1.8% in 2019 compared to 2018 emissions.

In 2019, total emissions (combustion1 and process) from the cement sector decreased by 2.0% and amount to 2.85 Mt CO2eq, or 4.75% of national total emissions. Cement sector emissions have increased by 87.3% since 2011.

Emissions are projected to increase by 29% between 2020 and 2030 to 2.6 Mt CO2 eq under the With Existing Measures scenario (this is the only emissions scenario for industrial processes, based on available data). The majority of emissions come from cement and lime industries and the projections industrial processes and product use is the only sector for which emissions of HFCs, PFCs, SF6 and NF3 (collectively known as fluorinated gases or F-Gases) are reported in air emission inventories. There is no production of fluorinated gases in Ireland, but these substances are used in activities such as Ireland’s electronics industry and for refrigeration and air conditioning (AC). F-Gas emissions were down 7.4% from 2018 to 2019, following a decrease of 13.8% in 2018. This is driven by a reduction in refrigeration and air conditioning emissions. Emissions of F-gases (HFCs, PFCs, SF6 and NF3) were 1,074.6 kt CO2 eq in 2019 compared to 34.6 kt CO2 eq in 1990, a 31-fold increase over the time series (see figure 12 below). However, F-gas emissions have risen from a very low base and only accounted for 1.8 per cent of the national total in 2019.

The main reason behind the more recent decreases in F-gas emissions has been the phasing out of refrigerant and AC gases with high global warming potentials (GWPs), due to the implementation of the F-Gas Regulation 517/2014. These refrigerant gases are being replaced with products containing a blend of HFCs and hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs) with low GWPs in sub category 2.F.1 Refrigeration and Air Conditioning.

Fluorinated-Gas (F-Gas) emissions are projected to decrease by 14.6% to 0.76 Mt CO2 eq between 2020 and 2030 under the With Existing Measures scenario. This is largely due to the move away from mobile air-conditioning systems in vehicles that contain F-Gases with a high global warming potential.
Emissions are projected to reduce by 12.6% between 2020 and 2030 to 0.77 Mt CO2 eq under the With Additional Measures scenario. The key difference between both scenarios is the result of the different future uptake rates in heat pumps in each scenario (i.e. more heat pumps being deployed in the With Additional Measures scenario).

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