Gas Networks Ireland welcomes European Commission’s call for more affordable, secure and sustainable energy

Gas Networks Ireland welcomes the European Commission’s new RePowerEU plan to reduce the European Union’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels by diversifying gas supplies and speeding up the roll-out of renewable gases.

Gas Networks Ireland’s Director of Customer and Business Development, David Kelly said:

“We strongly welcome the Commission’s ambition to increase the production and use of renewable gases throughout Europe, which will play a key role in meeting national and EU climate action targets as well as making us less reliant on fossil fuels.

Gas Networks Ireland’s vision is to replace natural gas with renewable gases, such as biomethane and hydrogen on Ireland’s existing gas infrastructure, which will help to substantially reduce Ireland’s carbon emissions while ensuring a secure energy supply, in the least disruptive most cost-effective manner.”

Structurally identical to natural gas, biomethane is a carbon neutral renewable gas that can be made from farm and food waste through a process known as anaerobic digestion. 

There is significant scope for biomethane production in Ireland,” according to Mr Kelly.   

“A domestic biomethane industry would not only support the decarbonisation of the agricultural sector, but it would also provide significant opportunities for rural communities and facilitate sustainable circular economies, with businesses powering their operations via renewable gas made from their own waste.”

Gas Networks Ireland first introduced domestically-produced biomethane onto Ireland’s gas network more than two years ago.

 “Although the quantity is currently small, it is beginning to seamlessly replace natural gas and is fully compatible with existing appliances, technology and vehicles,” Mr Kelly said.

Hydrogen is a carbon free, flammable gas, that can be made from renewable electricity, such as wind, and stored until needed, making it an attractive option to decarbonise Ireland’s energy system and strong example of how greater integration between Ireland’s gas and electricity networks can support a low carbon economy.

While there is currently no hydrogen on Ireland’s gas network, it is believed blends of up to 20% could be transported on the existing infrastructure today.