Gas Networks Ireland has confirmed that renewable gas has been successfully injected into Ireland’s gas network for the first time.
The renewable gas enters the network at Ireland’s only purpose-built injection facility in Cush, Co. Kildare, and represents the first step in GNI’s plan to roll out a network of renewable gas injection facilities across the country.
The planning application for a second gas injection facility, in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, has been submitted to Cork County Council.
The project is valued at €28 million, with €8.5 million in grant funding support from the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment’s Climate Action Fund.
Once operational, renewable gas will be sourced from local farms and will provide enough energy to heat 54,000 homes, according to GNI.
Managing director of GNI, Denis O’Sullivan, said: “Ireland’s challenge is to decarbonise in the most efficient way possible.
Renewable gas is a key pillar in our plan to fully decarbonise the gas network by 2050 through a combination of renewable gas, carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen.
“We envisage that renewable gas will contribute 20% of the total gas demand by 2030, equating to 11.5 TWh of renewable gas, sufficient to decarbonise the heating needs of one million homes.”
O’Sullivan continued: “We welcome the Government recognising the potential and opportunity for renewable gas in the residential market.
Production of 20% renewable gas by 2030 would create over 4,000 jobs, mostly in rural communities, and help Government achieve its carbon emissions targets by reducing Ireland’s CO2 emissions by 5.7%.
“As with the production of all renewable energy, renewable gas requires a support mechanism in the form of a guaranteed market price (feed-in tariff).”
Concluding, O’Sullivan said: “GNI strongly advocates policy support from Government to enable such a measure.”