Over half of the country’s electricity demand last month was generated from natural gas, according to a report published today (Wednesday, May 18).
The figures from Gas Networks Ireland show that gas generated 52% of Ireland’s electricity in April which is up 27% on March.
Wind energy recorded its strongest April on record, generating 32% of Ireland’s electricity. Although the sector’s contribution fell 3% month-on-month, it is up 7% on April 2021.
The report shows that coal fell by 57% to represent just 6% of Ireland’s electricity supplies in April.
Gas Networks Ireland said that gas accounted for almost 90% of the country’s electricity at certain times last month and never dropped below 17%.
Wind energy peaked at 75% but at times contributed less than 1% due to the weather conditions. Coal peaked at 22% with a low of 2%.
The data shows that the demand for gas more than doubled for laundry last month compared to April 2021, reflecting the easing of Covid-19 public health restrictions. It increased by 46% in retail, 40% in the hotel sector and by a fifth in leisure.
Residential gas demand fell by 28% compared to March, offices were down by a quarter, while education and construction demand fell by 21%.
“As we have moved into late spring and early summer, gas is playing an even greater role in meeting Ireland’s energy needs.
“April through to September tend to be the months of highest gas demand for electricity generation, as wind levels typically fall off,” Brian Mullins, Gas Networks Ireland, head of regulatory affairs, said.