Sweltering summer hikes gas demand for power to all-time high

Gas was required to generate record of 90% of State’s power in June and July

Gas Networks Ireland is targeting that 20 per cent of gas supply will come from renewable sources in 2030. Photograph:   Yui Mok/PA Wire

Gas Networks Ireland is targeting that 20 per cent of gas supply will come from renewable sources in 2030. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire

 

Natural gas was required to generate a record of 90 per cent of the State’s power in June and July, as the sweltering weather prompted wind energy generation to plummet, according to Gas Networks Ireland.

The company is now targeting that 20 per cent of gas supply will come from renewable sources in 2030, where grass and other natural feedstocks will be used to generate gas through a process called anaerobic digestion. Renewable gas will become available on the network in late 2018 for the first time, it said.

“Ireland is now facing hugely challenging 2030 climate change targets. The arrival of renewable gas, a direct substitute for natural gas, comes at a critical junction, delivering clean energy and security of supply for the future,” said Ian O’Flynn, head of commercial affairs at Gas Networks Ireland.

Imported fuels

“In developing this indigenous energy source, Gas Networks Ireland is not only reducing the country’s dependence on imported fuels, but is also substantially reducing CO2 emissions and providing a significant boost to the agri sector. The development of renewable gas and other sustainable solutions will require investment and support to deliver the quality of life that people expect as we progress to a low-carbon future.”

The record use of gas for electricity generation in June and July compared to about 70 per cent for the same period last year, according to Gas Networks Ireland.

In July, wind generation supplied as little as 0.3 per cent of electricity demand, resulting in significant variation in output, with the gap filled by flexible, natural gas-fired power plants.

EU reports have indicated that Ireland has the greatest potential for renewable gas deployment of any of any of the countries in EU. The Irish BioEnergy association estimates that the rollout of renewable gas in Ireland will support 6,500 jobs, mostly based in rural Ireland.