Decomposition of Ireland’s Carbon Emissions from 1990-2010: an Extended Kaya Identity

Tadhg O´ Mahony, IMDEA Energy Institute

Document Type Article

Energy Policy Journal (accepted)


In recent decades, Ireland has been an important example of a development pathway where rapid economic growth was accompanied by rising energy demand and increasing carbon emissions. Understanding the driving forces of carbon emissions is necessary for policy formulation and decomposition analysis is widely used for this purpose. This study uses an extended Kaya identity as the scheme and applies the log mean Divisia index (LMDI I) as the decomposition technique. Change in carbon emissions is decomposed from 1990 – 2010 and includes a measure of the effect of renewable energy penetration. Results illustrate that scale effects of affluence and population growth act to increase emissions and are countered primarily by energy intensity and fossil fuel substitution. Renewable energy penetration has a minor effect but has been increasing in recent years. Policy will need to significantly reduce intensity and increase renewables if applicable targets are to be reached. This requires not only a comprehensive suite of policies and measures but emphasis on the development path and ‘non-technical’ change for optimal outcomes.