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    Gas powered 52pc of Irish electricity in April as wind fell off


    May 18, 2022 - Sarah Collins

     

      Gas generated over half of Ireland’s electricity in April, with wind dropping to around a third and coal down to single digits.

      The spring and summer months - April to September - tend to see the highest demand for gas as wind levels are generally lower.

      Gas generation was up 27pc on March, providing 52pc of Ireland’s electricity in April, as wind fell off in the month. At times it powered up to 89pc of the country’s electricity and never dropped below 17pc.

      It was the primary source of electricity generation over the Easter weekend, providing 67pc on Good Friday and 62pc on Easter Monday.

      Wind-powered generation was at 32pc in April, a fall of 3pc on March and down 17.5pc on the first three months of the year.

      At times it powered up to 75pc of Ireland’s electricity, but at other times wind supply dropped almost completely to less than 1pc.

      Gas and wind energy generated similar amounts of electricity in the first quarter of the year (38pc and 40pc respectively).

      Meanwhile, coal’s share of electricity generation fell by 57pc to represent just 6pc of Ireland’s electricity supplies in April. It peaked at 22pc, with a low of 2pc.

      Overall gas demand fell slightly (1pc) in April due to warmer temperatures, although the oil refining (+7pc) and food and beverage (+6pc) sectors were up on March.

      Compared to the same month last year, gas demand more than doubled in the laundry sector, and was also up in the retail (+46pc), hotel (+40pc) and leisure (+20pc) sectors. Strict public health measures were in place in April 2021.

      “As we have moved into late spring and early summer, gas is playing an even greater role in meeting Ireland’s energy needs,” said Brian Mullins, Gas Networks Ireland’s head of regulatory affairs.

      “Ireland’s gas network continues to be the reliable and flexible backbone of the energy system and key to our energy security of supply.”

      Gas Networks Ireland recently joined the €16m Next Generation Energy System (NexSys) project with a number of Irish universities to look at how to decarbonise the Irish energy sector.

      “The gas network can be repurposed to carry decarbonised gases, such as biomethane and hydrogen, at minimal cost and disruption, and in turn play a critical role in an integrated gas and electricity system to decarbonise the country’s energy needs,” said Gas Networks Ireland’s chief executive, Cathal Marley.

      Meanwhile, Eirgrid, which manages the supply of electricity around the island, announced a major, multi-year upgrade of the Dublin electricity grid this week to help meet Ireland’s renewable energy targets and growing demand.

      Construction on up to 50km of underground electricity cables and new electricity substations is scheduled to start in 2024.

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