42 per cent of Ireland’s electricity provided by gas in April: Gas Networks Ireland Gas Demand Report

Gas generated 42 per cent of Ireland’s electricity last month, Gas Network Ireland’s April Gas Demand Report has shown. Total gas demand fell by seven per cent month-on-month from March and three per cent year-on-year from April 2023.

After a notably windy period in February and March, gas was once again the most dominant contributor to electricity generation surpassing wind energy’s contribution of 36 percent. The 42 per cent of electricity generated by gas in April represents a month-on-month increase from 36 per cent in March, but a substantial decrease year-on-year from the 47 per cent figure recorded for April 2023.

Commenting on the April report, Gas Networks Ireland’s Director of Strategy and Regulation, Edwina Nyhan said:

“In April, gas was again the primary source of electricity, as it was in January and in ten of the twelve months last year.

“Wind contributions peaked at 81 per cent in April 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 per cent of electricity generation.

As is typical of Ireland’s evolving energy mix, gas remained a consistent backup through periods of low wind. While during isolated periods of extreme bad weather, such as Storm Kathleen, wind energy’s contributions to electricity generation were particularly high.”

Sectoral demand

Sectoral demand for gas was also down both month-on-month and year-on-year, across a number of industries. Month-on-month decreases were recorded across the construction (-16%), education (-15%), leisure/sport arenas (-18%), office (-17%); retail (-11%), air travel (-28%), hotel (-23%), and residential (-28%) sectors. Year-on-year decreases meanwhile were recorded across air travel (-29%), hotel (-18%), and retail (-10%).

Ms Nyhan added: “While sectoral demand was generally down for April, on both a month-on-month and year-on-year basis, Demand for CNG fuel was also up by nearly a third compared to April 2023.”

Irish Tar & Bitumen first in sector to use a combination of natural and renewable gas

April also saw Gas Networks Ireland announce that Irish Tar & Bitumen Suppliers Ltd. (“Irish Tar”) is the first company in its industry to switch from powering parts of its operations with heavy fuel oil (HFO) to using a combination of both natural and renewable gas – significantly reducing their carbon emissions by almost one third overnight.

Ms Nyhan said: “By connecting to the gas network, Irish Tar has made a substantial stride in curbing CO₂ emissions, a particularly important achievement for a company working in such a ‘hard to abate’ industry. Adopting natural gas to fuel their storage and manufacturing processes will allow them to curb emissions by as much as 25%.

“This strategic choice not only aligns them with contractors, local authorities, and clients, but also constitutes a strong step forward in the face of mounting pressure on businesses to mitigate emissions across all facets of their operations. We are proud to be working with such a decisive industry leader to help deliver greener energy throughout Irish supply chains.”