Gas demand in January 2022 was up almost 11% within one month, due to a drop in mean temperatures and a return to office and school settings, according to Gas Networks Ireland.

Three days in January, Gas Networks Ireland reported, were among the top 30 for daily gas demand recorded in the last 12 years.

Demand rose month-on-month across most commercial sectors, including manufacturing (+21%), power generation (+17%), education (+15%), office (+10%) and the pharmaceutical industry (+10%).

Most significant increases in gas demand were recorded in retail (+62%) and laundry sectors (+51%), compared to January 2021.

Image source: Gas Networks Ireland

Head of regulatory affairs at Gas Networks Ireland, Brian Mullins highlighted the vital role of gas in Ireland’s energy mix, complementing intermittent renewable energy sources.

Gas remained the primary energy source for the first month of this year accounting for 45% of Ireland’s electricity demand, with coal providing 14%.

Despite hikes in demand, overall demand for gas in January 2022 was down 6% compared to the year previous, which saw a record-high demand.

Head of regulatory affairs Mullins added:

“January has been a consistently high month for gas demand. In January 2021, we saw it reach the highest monthly level in over a decade and the third-highest level ever.”

Wind energy provided 68% of electricity nationwide on New Year’s Day 2022, however demand fell throughout the month, generating 33% of total electricity which was down 7% compared to December 2021.

Due to the nature of supply, wind generated as much as 76% of electricity during January, however also as little as 1%.

Gas-powered electricity peaked at 74% with a low of 12%, while coal peaked at 25% with a low of 6% in January 2022.