Ireland’s decarbonisation challenge

Moving Ireland to a low carbon economy is not a simple task. Ireland's gas network can deliver emissions reductions across every sector of the economy.

The challenge for Ireland

Ireland has committed to radically decarbonising its energy system by 2050. But the country is not on course to achieve its short or long-term climate goals. As we move toward 2050 this will become more difficult as emissions targets will increase.

Key challenges to Ireland's low carbon transition

  • Demand

    Energy demand is forecast to increase as the population and economy grows.

  • Agriculture

    Agriculture is the biggest source of Ireland's emissions and decarbonising this sector is very challenging.

  • Emissions

    Ireland must significantly increase renewable energy use and reduce emissions in the heating and transport sectors.

Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions

Agriculture is the biggest source of overall emissions, currently at 33% followed by transport at 20%

Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) Electricity Generation18
ETS Industrial Heat6
ETS Industrial Processes3
ETS Other1
Non ETS Agriculture33
Non ETS Transport20
Non ETS Heat15
Non ETS Other4

How the gas network can play a role

Ireland’s gas network is among the most modern gas networks in Europe. It provides a safe, secure and reliable energy supply to over 705,000 homes and businesses. 
It will play a critical role in transforming Ireland’s energy economy. By providing a sustainable, secure, and cost effective path to a clean energy future. The gas network has the potential to make a significant contribution to reducing Ireland's emissions.


The gas network has the potential to make a significant contribution to reducing Ireland's emissions

  • 18.7Mt

    Total emissions saving potential from a net zero carbon network

  • 31%

    Reduction in Ireland's total emissions

  • 58%

    This saving is equivalent to a 58% reduction in emissions from transport, electricity generation and the built environment

What the gas network offers

Reduced emissions

Natural gas is a cleaner alternative to coal, peat, and oil. Replacing these fuels with natural gas in electricity generation and heating will provide immediate emissions reductions.

Long-term energy sustainability

The gas network can transport renewable gas now.  It can evolve to carry other gases such as hydrogen in the future and is compatible with carbon capture and storage technology.

Key part of Ireland's energy mix

The gas network delivers 30% of the country’s primary energy needs serving homes, businesses and electricity generation.

Supports renewable electricity generation

The gas network provides essential flexibility and back-up for the electricity grid when wind energy generation drops. At times of very low wind, natural gas has provided up to 90% of fuel for electricity generation.

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