No disruption to gas supply is expected this winter forecasts Gas Networks Ireland

An image of the control room at Gas Networks Ireland
The control room at Gas Networks Ireland

Despite last winter’s historic demand for gas, no disruption to gas supply is expected this winter: forecasts Gas Networks Ireland

  • Imported gas through the UK interconnector expected to supply 82% of the State’s gas requirements
  • Enough gas supply sources and network capacity to meet demand
  • Indigenous Biomethane production expected to grow 70% by October 2024
  • EU gas storage facilities at highest level in five years
  • Gas Networks Ireland does not envisage any disruption to gas supply during the winter months according to the gas network operator’s 2023/24 Winter Outlook1.

The Winter Outlook indicates that there is both enough gas supply sources and enough network capacity to meet the anticipated gas demand projections over the coming winter period, including in the case of a "1-in-50 winter peak day" - an extremely cold day that would only occur once in 50 years.

It is expected that about 18% of the State’s natural gas requirements will be supplied from the Corrib gas field off the coast of Co Mayo during the winter period, October 2023 to March 2024.

Gas supplies from Great Britain (GB) via the Moffat interconnector – which is Ireland’s entry point for imported gas – is forecast to supply almost 82% of overall gas demand this winter. According to National Gas Transmission, the transmission system operator for gas in GB, there is no significant forecasted change to the supply quantities available to GB, and hence to Ireland, for the winter ahead.

Biomethane production

The production and supply of indigenous Biomethane2 in Ireland onto the gas network is expected to grow by 70% year-on-year in the gas year3 2023/24, and by 57% year-on-year over the winter period 2023/24. Biomethane is a carbon-neutral renewable gas made from farm and food waste through a process known as anaerobic digestion. This biogas can reduce emissions across key sectors of the economy including heating, industry, transport and power generation, while also supporting the decarbonisation of the agri-food sector.

EU gas storage

On 1 October 2023, the EU gas storage facilities reached 96% on average, equating to the highest amount of gas stored within the last five years4. These current high storage levels, along with improvements to existing gas infrastructure and commissioning of new gas infrastructure throughout the EU - as well as enhanced cooperation between gas operators - reduce the dependence on gas supplies from Russia.

An image of Siobhán O’Halloran, Gas Networks Ireland’s Future Networks Manager
Siobhán O’Halloran, Gas Networks Ireland’s Future Networks Manager

Gas Networks Ireland's Future Networks Manager, Siobhán O’Halloran said:

“Last year, in winter 2022/23, we experienced historic levels of both demand for, and supply of, gas. In fact, the highest daily gas demand was recorded on 15 December 2022 mainly due to the need for gas to generate electricity. It’s also particularly notable as wind generation was not exceptionally low that day.

Last winter, gas contributed an average of 43% to Ireland’s electricity generation while over the gas year 2022/23, it accounted for 49%, as gas typically contributes a higher portion during the summer months when there is less wind energy available.

Overall, gas demand last winter was 1.6% higher than the previous winter period, driven mainly by the increase in gas demand for power generation.

“At Gas Networks Ireland we have robust and tested procedures in place to manage Ireland’s gas supply. We ensure that Ireland's gas network is resilient and remains one of the most modern in the world, and we continuously monitor developments throughout Europe. It is not currently envisioned that there will be any disruption to the supply of gas to Ireland this winter.”

1About Gas Networks Ireland’s Winter Outlook 2023/24

Gas Networks Ireland’s Winter Outlook sets out the demand and supply outlook for winter 2023/24 (October 2023 to March 2024) for both the Republic of Ireland (ROI) gas demand and the Gas Networks Ireland system demand. The Gas Networks Ireland system demand refers to the combined demands for ROI, Northern Ireland (NI) and Isle of Man (IOM) which are all transported through Gas Networks Ireland’s system.
Gas Networks Ireland’s Winter Outlook 2023/24 can be found here.

2About Biomethane

Structurally identical to natural gas, Biomethane is a carbon neutral renewable gas derived from organic sources such as landfill, food waste and agricultural waste. Biomethane is fully compatible with the existing national gas network and existing appliances, technologies and vehicles. It seamlessly replaces natural gas to reduce emissions in heating, industry, transport and power generation. 
Visit the Biomethane section

3The gas year 2023/24 runs from October 2023 to September 2024.  The Winter period 2023/24 runs from October 2023 to March 2024.
4ENTSOG Winter Supply Outlook 2023/2024