Northern Ireland Energy Transition

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In December 2021, the Department for the Economy (DfE) published the ‘Energy Strategy – Path to Net Zero Energy’   The Northern Ireland Energy Strategy has ambitious plans for the development of renewable gases i.e., biomethane and hydrogen on the gas networks in NI.  A detailed action plan followed in January 2023, which outlines a roadmap to 2030 aiming to deliver a 56% reduction of energy-related emissions, on the pathway to deliver the 2050 vision of net zero carbon and affordable energy.

GNI (UK), alongside the four other Gas Network Operators in Northern Ireland, firmus energy, Mutual Energy, SGN Natural Gas and Phoenix Natural Gas is actively supporting the delivery of certain associated actions, for example, delivering a regulatory framework for biomethane (2023) and for hydrogen (2025).

In October, 2022, GNI (UK) recruited a Northern Ireland Energy Transition Manager, a role which monitors policy developments on behalf of GNI (UK) as the NI energy strategy is delivered, working collaboratively with the NI Gas Network Operators on key topics such as biomethane; hydrogen; gas safety; operations and R&D, as they relate to Northern Ireland. The role also covers liaison with key NI stakeholders, including the Department for the Economy, the Utility Regulator, and the NI Gas Network Operators Energy Transition Group, to coordinate the delivery of gas transition-related activities.

Biomethane connections to the NI gas network - A guide for owners and developers

GNI (UK) is committed to supporting Northern Ireland’s transition to a net zero energy system. One of our key roles is to provide connections onto the network for biomethane producers and we can facilitate the injection of the renewable gas biomethane into the gas network.

Getting a connection to inject biomethane onto our networks requires a number of steps to ensure a safe and secure connection.

This Guide to Biomethane Connections to the Northern Ireland Gas Network has been developed collaboratively by Northern Ireland’s two Transmission System Operators (TSOs); GNI (UK) Limited and Mutual Energy Limited. Outlining the steps producers must take to connect and inject biomethane into the gas network, it is intended to help you, as the owner or developer of a biomethane production facility, to connect your production facility to the gas transmission network in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland Gas Network Operator ‘Commitments’

In October 2023, Northern Ireland’s Gas Network Operators published a set of 5 near-term commitments to support the sustainable introduction of renewable gases in Northern Ireland, and the support required from industry, policy and public sector stakeholders to deliver them.

These least-regret commitments will assist in the decarbonisation of Northern Ireland’s homes, businesses and wider energy system, and unlock the economic, decarbonisation and environmental benefits associated with producing and utilising renewable gases in Northern Ireland.

Request for information from the agricultural and waste sector

Northern Ireland’s Gas Network Operators (GNOs) – Mutual Energy, GNI (UK), Phoenix Energy, firmus energy and Evolve – have jointly launched a collaborative Request for Information for potential biomethane producers and potential waste feedstock suppliers.

The GNOs are seeking information from potential biomethane producers to inform network planning and allow operators to prepare for the introduction of biomethane into the NI Gas Network, facilitating decarbonisation and the longer-term transition to a net zero carbon gas network.

NI’s GNOs invite responses from both prospective biomethane producers and current biogas producers who may consider upgrading and repurposing their processes to facilitate biomethane production and gas grid injection. We also urge anyone who is keen to supply waste feedstock to Anaerobic Digestors to respond to this Request for Information.

Not every area of the NI Gas Network can easily accommodate large volumes of injected biomethane. The information gathered through this process will allow for the planning and development of Northern Ireland’s gas network to accommodate proposed biomethane volumes and deliver on the region’s green gas potential. This will enable NI gas consumers access to green energy, and ultimately support the decarbonisation of NI’s energy supply. Results will also be used by the NI GNO’s to inform development of biomethane policy and the regulatory framework in Northern Ireland.

For more information on the purpose of this Request for Information and data confidentiality, please consult the Information Booklet.

To complete the Request for Information survey, please click on this Survey Monkey link and follow the steps to fill out the questions.

Responses must be received by 17:00 on Monday 20th May 2024.

Thank you in advance for your input.