Gas Networks Ireland has said that gas demand in September fell by 11% compared to August due to mild conditions and above-average temperatures in many areas.

However, in a report issued today (Monday, October 24), the company said that natural gas usage was up 6% on September 2021 when Covid-19-related public health restrictions were still in place.

Year-on-year gas demand increased by 85% in the air travel sector, 27% in retail, 25% for leisure and sports arenas and 15% in hotels.

There was an 80% jump in demand from the residential sector compared to August.

As students returned to schools and colleges, usage in the education sector was up 63% on the previous month.

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Gas generated 55% of Ireland’s electricity in September, down 14% on August and up 12% when compared to September last year.

Wind generated 25% of Ireland’s electricity in September, down 32% on August, but up 19% on September last year.

Coal generated 10% more of Ireland’s electricity in September than it did in August.

The Gas Networks Ireland report also includes data for the third quarter (Q3) of the year.

From July until the end of September, gas demand increased by 10% when compared to the same period last year, and fell by 2% on the previous quarter.

Gas generated 60% of Ireland’s electricity in Q3, up 11% on the preceding three-month period, peaking at 92% and never dropping below 16%.

Wind energy’s contribution ranged from 74% to less than 1%, while coal contributed 11% – peaking at 21%, with a low of less than 1%.

Commenting on the report, Gas Networks Ireland’s head of regulatory affairs, Brian Mullins, said:

“April through 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.

“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,” Mullins said.