Gas Networks Ireland (GNI) has a strategic plan to achieve 20% Renewable Gas on the network by 2030 which is equal to circa 11.6 TWh of Renewable Gas. This figure is supported by independent reports by the EU Commission and the SEAI. To achieve this level of Renewable Gas, GNI is focusing on supporting anaerobic digestion (AD) with separate initiatives for the agriculture sector and the commercial waste industry sector.
Agri-AD: It is forecast that up to 9.8 TWh per annum of renewable gas can be delivered from the agriculture sector by 2030. Agri-based AD will be supported on the basis that biogas is purified to Natural Gas standard at the AD site, ready for collection. GNI in conjunction with other industry stakeholders intends to invest in the Renewable Gas collection logistics and Central Grid Injection (CGI) facilities located on the gas transmission network where Renewable Gas quality will be verified and the grid injection process will be managed and metered. The CGI facilities are designed to operate as gas Entry Points on the network where Gas Shippers can register capacity and transact gas into the system for delivery to their gas customers in the heat, power and transport sectors.
GHG emissions from Agriculture represents over 35% of national emissions and are expected to increase further due to a projected increase in dairy cow numbers and proposals to increase food production and exports, as set out in Food Harvest 2020. Ireland needs to sustainably address GHG emissions from agriculture, which could threaten the ‘Origin Green’ sustainability status of Ireland’s food and drink production internationally. The food and beverage production processes contribute a further 13% to national emissions and these industries are largely dependent on gas as their primary energy source. The initiative to establish Renewable Gas production from Agri-AD represents a significant opportunity to decarbonise agriculture and the agri-food supply chain, while also providing the opportunity for the farmers to diversify, and enhancing Irelands security of supply.
Waste Industry AD: It is forecast that up to 1.8 TWh per annum of renewable gas can be delivered from the commercial waste processing sector by 2030. These facilities will be accommodated to connect directly to the gas network in line with a new Connection Policy to be published for Q4 2018. These facilities are also designed to operate as a gas Entry Point on the network on the same basis as the CGI facilities.
Targets & Benefits:
In June 2018, KPMG published a study on behalf of Ervia, titled Decarbonising Domestic Heating in Ireland.
The study highlighted how the advent of renewable gas has a profound impact on the challenge of decarbonising domestic heating. The study demonstrates how the displacement of natural gas supply with carbon neutral gas can deliver complete decarbonisation of domestic heating for 1 million households (those on or within immediate access to the gas network) at less than 1/3 of the cost of complete deep retrofit and heat pump technology - http://www.ervia.ie/decarbonising-domestic-he/KPMG-Irish-Gas-Pathways-Report.pdf