Biomethane, a sustainable and carbon neutral renewable gasContact us
What is renewable gas (biomethane)?
Biomethane is a carbon-neutral renewable gas made from farm and food waste through a process known as anaerobic digestion.
Biogas is initially produced through the breakdown of organic material (feedstock) by micro-organisms in large oxygen-free tanks (anaerobic digesters) into biogas and digestate. This process also occurs naturally in nature as organic wastes and residues decompose releasing methane into the atmosphere. To be injected into the gas network, this biogas must then be upgraded to biomethane and meet the quality standards as required by Gas Networks Ireland.
Biomethane, began flowing into the gas network in 2019 and is the first step to a cleaner energy future. It can reduce emissions across key sectors of the economy including heating, industry, transport and power generation, while also supporting the decarbonisation of the agri-food sector.
This renewable energy is structurally identical to natural gas and can be used in exactly the same way through the existing infrastructure, boilers and appliances, meaning homeowners and businesses will be able to transition to this sustainable energy source and play their part in progressing Ireland towards a cleaner energy future, without changing a thing.
Request for Information from biomethane producers
We have launched a Request for Information (RFI) process to obtain input from biomethane producers that will help us plan for Ireland’s national gas network, which is considered one of the safest and most modern renewables-ready gas networks in the world. The purpose of the RFI is twofold.
- The identification of new and feasible biomethane production projects to supply biomethane into the Irish gas network. This information will be used to assess the future infrastructure requirements for biomethane integration into the gas network by comparing the current gas network infrastructure to the mapping of biomethane production potential from the RFI. A network study will also be undertaken and published by Gas Networks Ireland on the basis of the responses received to this RFI.
- Gas network operators are key stakeholders in relation to the development of a biomethane industry and, most notably, planning of biomethane integration into the gas network. In view of this and given the need to rapidly scale up biomethane production in Ireland by 2030 to the 5.7 TWh production target, the findings from this RFI will provide Gas Networks Ireland with detailed information to build on on-going dialogue with Irish policymakers to plan a gas network fit for future needs.
Connecting biomethane producers
Gas Networks Ireland has a pivotal role to play in supporting Ireland’s transition to a net zero energy system. One of our key roles is to provide connections onto the network for biomethane producers. We facilitate the injection of the renewable gas biomethane into the gas network via two methods. A direct connection where a pipeline extension will be constructed to connect a biomethane plant to the network. Where a pipeline is not viable, the second option is to transport the biomethane by truck to a central grid injection facility, where it will then be injected into the gas network.
Please download our biomethane connections guide to learn more about the steps producers must take to connect and inject biomethane into the gas network.Learn more
Renewable gas in Ireland today
By gradually replacing natural gas with renewable gases, such as biomethane and hydrogen, Gas Networks Ireland aims to deliver a net-zero carbon gas network by 2050. Learn more about some of the key developments in the industry to date that will support reduce emissions across a number of key sectors, including those that are traditionally difficult to decarbonise, including heating, agriculture, industry, transport and power generation.