Supporting a cleaner energy future

Supportive policy, regulations and investment will be critical to unlock this opportunity for Ireland.

Recommendations and next steps

Electricity

  • Develop coupled policy and regulations for electricity and gas to achieve an integrated systems approach to decarbonise Ireland’s energy system.
  • Ensure technology neutral energy planning.  All technologies must be allowed to compete for future adoption to ensure viable solutions are not ruled out now and regretted later.
  • Introduce policy measures to support the development of CCS facilities for Ireland.
  • Support for Power to Gas technology.

Industry

  • Implement a robust Green Gas Certification (GGC) scheme to stimulate the growth of a market for renewable gas in Ireland across heat and transport.
  • Convert businesses near the gas network from oil and coal to gas.
     

Heat

  • Implement appropriate support schemes for renewable gas. This is critical for the development of renewable gas and anaerobic digestion (AD) projects in Ireland.
  • Revise Part L of the Building Regulations to include gas boilers that are fuelled by a blend and allow for the renewable element within the blend to be calculated toward the minimum renewable energy contribution.
  • Building Energy Rating (BER) certification for the domestic sector should also include the option to select renewable gas.
  • Promote education and engagement on clean energy technologies such as renewable gas, hydrogen and CCS to ensure that communities and the general public are engaged to assist the successful adoption of new clean energy technologies.

Transport

  • Maintain and introduce policies which will support the transition of larger vehicles from diesel to CNG and Bio-CNG.
  • Maintain the Accelerated Capital Allowance scheme for gas vehicles and refuelling equipment and keep the excise duty treatment for CNG at the current level.
  • Exempt gas-powered HGVs from toll charges on main routes, and introduce a CNG vehicle grant scheme.

Agriculture

  • Support the development of renewable gas network injection facilities.
  • Seek whole system carbon accounting for Ireland at European level. Additional savings can be achieved from better land use management and the use of bio-fertiliser when renewable gas is produced from agricultural sources. These savings should be counted as part of emissions savings as the renewable gas industry develops.
  • Develop a detailed policy roadmap for renewable gas. We would welcome the opportunity to develop a policy roadmap for renewable gas in partnership with industry stakeholders, researchers and relevant Government Departments.

Key initiatives to support early progress

Electricity

Convert coal and peat power plants to gas. Longer term upgrade Ireland’s natural gas power stations to use CCS technology.

Industry

Implement a robust Green Gas Certification (GGC) scheme.

Heat

Convert 300,000 homes and businesses near the gas network from oil and coal to gas. This is a practical way to achieve immediate emissions reductions. As the gas network decarbonises and ultimately becomes net zero carbon these homes will then continue to be decarbonised in a least cost and least disruptive manner.

Transport

Convert HGV and Bus transport sector from diesel to CNG initially and ultimately to Bio-CNG.

Agriculture

Develop a standard for biofertiliser. This will allow farmers use the by-product of the renewable gas production process as a biofertiliser. This further reduces the emissions impact of the renewable gas production process.

Key initiatives for long term success

  • Ensure technology neutral energy planning - all technologies must be allowed to compete for future adoption to ensure that viable solutions are not ruled out now and regretted later.
  • Investigate CCS and hydrogen demonstration in Ireland.
  • Investigate and support Power to Gas technology to store curtailed renewable energy.
  • Upgrade Ireland’s natural gas power stations to use CCS technology.

Read the full Vision 2050 report

Ireland's gas network has the potential to make a significant contribution to reducing Ireland's emissions. Read our vision for a net zero carbon gas network.

Download the Vision 2050 report now