Despite the warmer weather, Ireland’s gas demand in July was up 5% on the previous month, according to new figures from Gas Networks Ireland. When compared to the same month last year, when public health restrictions were in place, demand was up 10%.
Gas demand increased by 95% in the air travel sector when compared with July 2021, by 39% in leisure/sport arenas, by 35% across retail and by 20% in hotels.
The figures show that July’s higher temperatures contributed to a month-on-month decrease in gas demand across most customer sectors, with residential down 39%, office demand down 30% and education down 20%.
Gas generated 62% of Ireland’s electricity in July, up 12% on June and down 3% when compared to July last year. Even though the amount of electricity generated by wind energy in July fell by 28% month-on-month to 20%, it was up 52% compared to July 2021.
At times during the month, gas powered up to 85% of the country’s electricity generation, never dropping below 24%.Coal contributed 11% in July – more than doubling its contribution in June – peaking at 21%, with a low of less than 1%.
Wind peaked at 65% during the month but given the variable nature of weather dependent renewable energy sources, there were also times in the month when the wind supply dropped almost completely and contributed less than 1% of electricity generation.
“July wasn’t a very windy month, so it’s not surprising to see the amount of electricity generated by both gas and coal increase and the amount generated by wind energy fall,” said Brian Mullins, Gas Networks Ireland’s Head of Regulatory Affairs.
“Gas is the ideal partner for weather dependant renewables. Being able to harness wind energy when it is available and back it up with the flexibility and reliability of gas when it’s not available, provides a secure and complete energy system for the people of Ireland,” he added.