Natural gas responsible for more than half State’s electricity in April

Figures from Gas Networks Ireland reflect country’s ongoing reliance on fossil fuel energy

More than half the State's electricity was generated from natural gas in April with the contribution of wind generation dropping to approximately one third, according to Gas Networks Ireland.

Gas generated 52 per cent of Ireland’s electricity in April, up from 41 per cent in March, “providing much needed back up to compensate for a fall off in wind, while also supporting a significant reduction in coal generation,” the utility said.

The figures reflect the country's ongoing reliance on fossil fuel derived energy and come amid a surge in energy prices generally, which has been aggravated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

At times during the month, Gas Networks Ireland said gas powered nearly 90 of per cent the country’s electricity, peaking at 89 per cent and never dropping below 17 per cent, while coal peaked at 22 per cent with a low of 2 per cent.

“Wind peaked at 75 but given the variable nature of weather dependent renewable energy sources, there were also times in the month when the wind supply dropped almost completely and contributed less than 1 per cent,” it said.

When compared to April 2021, there were significant increases in gas demand from the laundry (+103 per cent), retail (+46 per cent), hotel (+40 per cente) and leisure (+20 per cent) sectors given the strict public health restrictions that were in place this time last year.

"As we have moved into late Spring and early Summer, gas is playing an even greater role in meeting Ireland's energy needs," the head of regulatory affairs at Gas Networks Ireland Brian Mullins said.

“April through to September tend to be the months of highest gas demand for electricity generation, as wind levels typically fall off,” he said.