Gas powered 52 per cent of Ireland’s electricity in April when the winds died down

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

Gas demand tends to be highest during the spring and summer months – April to September – as wind speeds are generally lower.

Gas production rose 27 per cent in March and provided 52 per cent of Ireland’s electricity in April as winds eased over the month. At times it supplied up to 89 percent of the country’s electricity and never fell below 17 percent.

It was the main source of electricity production over Easter weekend, supplying 67 percent on Good Friday and 62 percent on Easter Monday.

Wind power generation was 32 percent in April, down 3 percent in March and down 17.5 percent in the first three months of the year.

At times it supplied up to 75 per cent of Ireland’s electricity, but at other times the wind supply dropped almost entirely to less than 1 per cent.

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

Meanwhile, coal’s share of electricity generation fell by 57 per cent to just 6 per cent of Ireland’s electricity supply in April. It peaked at 22 percent, with a low of 2 percent.

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

Compared to the same month last year, gas demand in the laundry sector more than doubled and also increased in retail (+46 percent), hotels (+40 percent) and leisure (+20 percent). 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 bigger role in meeting Ireland’s energy needs,” said Brian Mullins, Head of Regulatory Affairs at Gas Networks Ireland.

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

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

“The gas network can be repurposed to transport decarbonized gases such as biomethane and hydrogen with minimal cost and disruption, and in turn play a vital role in an integrated gas and electricity system to decarbonize the country’s energy needs,” said Gas Networks Ireland Managing Director , Cathal Marley.

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

Construction of up to 50km of underground power cables and new substations is scheduled to begin in 2024. Gas powered 52 per cent of Ireland’s electricity in April when the winds died down

Fry Electronics Team

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