Mild weather February saw the country’s overall gas demand fall by 11% compared to January, and decrease by 25% in the residential sector month on month.
Demand for gas increased by 7% in February compared to the same month last year, new figures from Gas Network Ireland shows today.
Gas was the main source of the country’s electricity generation in February, continuing the trend seen in January.
It provided 45% of the State’s electricity generation demand in February – an increase of 61% on a very windy February in 2022. Gas peaked at 79% during the month, and never fell below 14%.
Wind energy generated 42% of electricity in February. It peaked at 79% 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% of electricity generation.
Meanwhile, coal generated 5% of February’s electricity, falling by 55% when compared to February in 2022.
Gas Networks Ireland also noted today that while still modest in the overall mix, demand for compressed natural gas (CNG) increased by 11% year-on-year. CNG is natural gas which is compressed to fit into a vehicle’s tank and is particularly suitable for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).
Today’s figures show that gas demand from the air travel and retail sectors fell by 24% and 16% month-on-month respectively in February. There were also monthly decreases in the leisure/sport arenas (18%), manufacturing (18%), education (16%) and offices (15%) sectors.
Gas Networks Ireland’s Acting Director of Strategy and Regulation, Brian Mullins, said it was great to see the continued increase in demand for CNG.
“Ireland’s commercial transport fleet makes up just 3% of vehicles on the road, yet is responsible for approximately a fifth of transport’s carbon emissions. It’s also one of the most difficult sectors to decarbonise,” he said.
“While electricity is a proven alternate fuel for cars, electric solutions are not a viable option for use in heavy goods commercial vehicles. However CNG is – and can reduce a HGV’s emissions by up to 22%,” he added.