Gas Networks Ireland welcomes Ibec’s letter to the Government calling on measures to support energy security and affordability

In a letter to the Taoiseach, Danny McCoy CEO of Ibec has today called on the Government to introduce new measures to protect Irish business from high energy costs and to enhance Ireland’s energy security in the coming months and years.

Ibec’s letter comes two days after 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 Ibec’s ask of the Government to support the development of hydrogen and biomethane projects to both enhance the country’s energy security and provide opportunities to create a renewable gas industry in rural Ireland.

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.

“Along with playing a key role in meeting national and EU climate action targets and making us less reliant on fossil fuels; 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.