Gas demand falls 14% month-on-month
Demand for CNG continues to increase
Gas demand fell 14% in April compared to March, with several sectors requiring less energy during this period. Demand dropped 10% compared to April 2022.
Gas demand from the sectors of construction, education1, hospitals and office complexes2 are down 11%, 27%, 21% and 26% respectively month-on-month. Year-on-year, demand for CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) is up 42%, from a modest base, while demand from the air travel3 sector is up 14% compared to last year. Made by compressing natural gas down to less than 1% of its volume, CNG is a more environmentally friendly fuel than petrol or diesel and provides the Irish haulage industry with a cleaner alternative fuel option.
In April, gas generated 47% of Ireland’s electricity - up 4% on March - but down 10% on the same period last year. At times during the month, gas powered almost 90% of the country’s electricity, peaking at 89% and never dropping below 14%.
Wind’s contribution fell by 5% month-on-month, powering 37% of Ireland’s electricity in April, but its share of demand increased year-on-year. Wind peaked at 78% but given the variable nature of weather dependent renewable energy sources, there were also times in the month when the wind supply dropped almost completely and contributed less than 1% of electricity generation.
Coal generated 4% of electricity in April, peaking at 10%, with a low of 2%. Between April 28th and 29th, gas produced 81% of the total power generated, and wind produced 6%.
Brian Mullins, Gas Network Ireland Acting Director of Strategy & Regulation said that the increased demand for CNG and recent successful auction for offshore wind developments in Ireland shows that we are making progress in the decarbonisation of energy:
“It was another very strong month for wind, as the main source of power for 37% of Ireland’s energy demands. This is a welcome development, as was the successful first Irish offshore wind auction on May 11 last. Gas will remain a backbone of Ireland’s energy mix – particularly given the intermittent nature of wind – but increasingly we believe that will include more renewable energy like biomethane.
Gas Networks Ireland appeared at a Joint Oireachtas Committee earlier this month to highlight the significant opportunity for the agricultural and energy sectors to join forces and create a thriving biomethane economy in Ireland by 2030.
Biomethane is fully compatible with Ireland’s gas network and existing appliances, technologies and vehicles, and its increased use will seamlessly replace natural gas to reduce emissions in heating, industry, transport and power generation, while also supporting the decarbonisation of the agri-food sector. “