Gas demand fell by 11% in September from August, new figures show today. as temperatures were above average in most parts of the country.
But Gas Network Ireland said that gas demand was up 6% in September compared to the same time last year.
It said that compared to September 2021, when Covid-related public health restrictions were still in place, gas demand on an annual basis jumped by 85% in the air travel sector, while the retail sector saw an increase of 27%.
Gas demand in the leisure/sport arenas sector was up 25%, while the hotel sector was up 15%.
Today’s figures show that gas generated 55% of the country’s electricity in September, down 14% on August and up 12% when compared to September of last year.
Wind generated 25% of Ireland’s electricity in September, down 32% on August and up 19% on September last year.
Meanwhile, coal generated 10% more of Ireland’s electricity in September than it did in August.
Gas Networks Ireland noted that gas powered up to 81% of the country’s electricity generation during parts of the month.
The share of electricity generated by gas did not drop below 16% at any point during September, it added.
Coal contributed 11% of power generation in September – peaking at 21%, with a low of 4%.
Wind peaked at 74% during the month, but given the variable nature of weather dependent renewable energy sources, there were also times in September when the wind supply dropped almost completely and contributed less than 1% of electricity generation.
Gas Networks Ireland’s Head of Regulatory Affairs, Brian Mullins, said the months from April to September tend to be the months of highest gas demand for electricity generation, as wind levels typically fall off.
“However, this pattern can fluctuate as gas generated 55% of Ireland’s electricity in September and 64% in August. This is why gas is the ideal partner for intermittent renewable energy,” Mr Mullins said.
“Being able to harness weather-dependant renewable wind energy when it is available, and back it up with the flexibility and reliability of gas when there is little or no wind, provides a secure and complete energy system for the people of Ireland,” he added.