Gas demand dropped 23% in December but reliance on imports rose in 2023

A cold spell in December 2022 resulted in the mean monthly temperature for the month being well below last year’s

Demand for gas was down by 23 per cent in December when compared with the same month a year earlier, new data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) shows.

Total metered gas demand was 4,309 gigawatt hours (GWh) as compared 5,590 GWh in December 2022.

The CSO said natural gas demand decreased for all categories of customer. The biggest drops were in power plants (-29 per cent); non-daily metered (-17 per cent); daily metered (-10 per cent); and large daily metered (-6 per cent).

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Power plants accounted for 53 per cent of total gas demand compared with 59 per cent of total demand in November and 58 per cent of total demand in December 2022.

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Power plants represented 64 per cent of total gas demand for the year 2023 which was the same as 2022.

Non-daily metered accounted for 32 per cent of total gas demand compared with 26 per cent of total demand in November and 30 per cent of total demand in December 2022.

Non-daily metered represented 19 per cent of total gas demand for 2023, which was the same as the year before.

Comparing 2023 with the year before, natural gas demand again declined for all categories of customer: non-daily metered (-8 per cent); power plants (-7 per cent); large daily metered (-6 per cent); and daily metered (-5 per cent).

A cold spell from December 7th-16th in 2022 resulted in the mean monthly temperature for the month being well below that of December last year.

Total metered gas demand for 2023 was 52,247 GWh, which was 7 per cent lower than the 2022 figure of 56,331 GWh.

Natural gas Imports were 26 per cent lower in December than a year earlier, while indigenous production was 13 per cent lower.

Gas Imports represented 76 per cent of total metered supply in December with indigenous production from the Corrib gasfield and biomethane plants accounting for the remaining 24 per cent.

Ireland’s reliance on imported gas showed no sign of waning as imports accounted for 77 per cent of metered gas supply in 2023 compared with 74 per cent in 2022.

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter