Supporting a cleaner energy future
Policy and supports will be required to ensure the gas network can support a clean energy economy across electricity, industry, heat, transport and agriculture.
- Support the agri-food industry in the development of anaerobic digestion and biomethane as a means of reducing emissions from agriculture.
- Convert industry near the gas network from oil and coal to gas.
- Work with industry to implement renewable gases for heating (biomethane in the short term and hydrogen in the medium term).
- Convert homes and businesses near the gas network from oil and coal to gas.
- Implement appropriate support schemes for renewable gas.
- Revise Part L of the Building Regulations to include gas boilers that are fuelled by a blend of natural and renewable gases and allow for the renewable element to be calculated toward the minimum renewable energy contribution.
- Include the option to select renewable gas in Building Energy Rating (BER) certification for the domestic sector.
- Promote education and engagement on clean energy technologies and renewable gases to ensure that communities and the general public are engaged to assist the successful adoption of these cleaner options.
- Maintain and introduce policies that support the transition of larger vehicles from diesel to compressed natural gas (CNG) initially and ultimately renewable gas.
- Maintain the Accelerated Capital Allowance Scheme for CNG vehicles and refuelling equipment, and keep the excise duty treatment for CNG at the current level.
- Exempt gas-powered heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) from toll charges on main routes and introduce a CNG vehicle grant scheme.
- Support the development of renewable gas injection facilities.
- Support the steps taken by industry to use anaerobic digestion and biomethane as a means of reducing agricultural emissions.
- Take a leadership position on the Farm to Fork elements of the EU Green Deal.
- 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 biomethane is produced from agricultural sources. These savings should be counted as part of emissions savings as the biomethane industry develops.
- Develop a detailed policy roadmap for biomethane. We would welcome the opportunity to develop a policy roadmap for biomethane in partnership with industry stakeholders, researchers and relevant Government Departments.
- Develop a detailed policy roadmap for hydrogen. We would welcome the opportunity to develop a policy roadmap for hydrogen in partnership with industry stakeholders, researchers and relevant Government Departments.
Key initiatives to support early progress
Convert coal and peat power plants to gas and ensure that security of supply is maintained through the development of gas peaking plants as required. As the volume of biomethane on the network increases, the carbon footprint of electricity generation will increasingly reduce without changing a thing.
Convert businesses from oil and coal to gas and implement a robust Green Gas Certification (GGC) scheme. As the volume of biomethane on the network increases, industrial customers connected to the national gas network will become increasingly sustainable reducing their carbon footprint without changing a thing.
Convert 300,000 homes and businesses near the gas network from oil and coal to gas to achieve immediate emissions reductions at least cost. As the volume of biomethane on the network increases, those connected to the national gas network will increasingly reduce their carbon footprint without changing a thing.
Convert heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and buses from diesel to compressed natural gas (CNG) to achieve immediate emissions reductions at least cost. As the volume of biomethane on the network increases, vehicles refuelling from the national gas network will increasingly reduce their carbon footprint without changing a thing.
Support initiatives by dairy processors to reduce carbon emissions through anaerobic digestion and biomethane, and develop a standard for bio-fertiliser. This will allow farmers to use the digestate by-product of the biomethane production process as a bio-fertiliser, further reducing the emissions impact of the biomethane production process and the agricultural sector as a whole.
Key initiatives for long-term success
- Ongoing integration of energy policy to incorporate greater alignment between gas and electricity policy.
- 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.
- Continue to investigate the potential of carbon capture and storage (CCS) for power generation and heavy industry.