Gas generated 55% of electricity in May: Gas Networks Ireland Gas Demand Report

Gas generated 55 per cent of Ireland’s electricity during May, a significant increase on its relative contributions in previous months this year (42pc in April, 36pc in March, 37pc in February and 44 pc in January).  

The increase was due to gas stepping in to support electricity generation, as wind energy's contribution decreased to just over a fifth in May to 22 per cent, with the onset of the typically low-wind summer months.  

Gas Networks Ireland’s Director of Strategy and Regulation, Edwina Nyhan said:  

“In May, gas was the largest contributor to Ireland’s electricity, powering up to 81 per cent of the country’s electricity at times and never dropping below 20 per cent.  Wind power peaked at 73 percent of electricity generation, but due to the changeable nature of weather dependent renewable energy sources, there were periods during the month when wind’s contribution fell away almost completely. Such fluctuations highlight the importance of the gas network in providing resilience to the energy system, which will be critical as more renewables come onto the electricity grid.” 

While overall gas demand increased by three percentage points month-on-month in May, demand for gas fell in the education (-51 per cent), hospital (-23 per cent), leisure/sport arenas (-35 per cent), office (-34 per cent), retail (-22 per cent) and air travel (-62 per cent) sectors over the same period.  

Demand for gas in transport continues to rise 

For the sixteenth consecutive month, demand for Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) saw a continued year-on-year increase, as consumption of this alternate fuel for transport rose by 28 per cent when compared to May 2023. 

Last week Flogas and Gas Networks Ireland officially opened the Republic of Ireland’s first ever dedicated BioCNG refuelling self service station in North Co. Dublin. 

CNG is natural gas that has been compressed to fit into a vehicle’s tank and is available for heavy goods and commercial vehicles. BioCNG is its certified renewable gas equivalent that qualifies as a renewable fuel under the Irish Biofuel Obligation Scheme and can turn an HGV into a carbon neutral vehicle.   

Gas Networks Ireland to connect new Bia Energy Plant 

May also saw Gas Networks Ireland and Bia Energy agree a significant partnership to enable the direct injection of renewable biomethane gas produced from food waste at the Bia Energy facility in Huntstown, Co Dublin into the national gas network. 

This agreement follows the recently announced National Biomethane Strategy by the Government and marks an important milestone in the development of Ireland’s renewable energy sector.  

Ms. Nyhan commented: 

"Biomethane presents a remarkable opportunity for Ireland, offering a triple advantage for our economy. Firstly, it will enable meaningful reductions in carbon emissions to be made, significantly contributing to our climate goals. Secondly, by producing biomethane domestically, we can boost our energy security and reduce dependency on imported gas. Lastly, it provides farmers with a valuable option to diversify their activities and create additional revenue streams, thus fostering rural economic resilience. 

We welcomed the release of the National Biomethane Strategy last month, which is a crucial step forward for Ireland’s nascent biomethane industry to develop, and we are proud of the significant development our partnership with Bia Energy represents.”