Gas reliably generated more than half the country’s electricity in April as the contribution from wind generation dropped to about one third, new figures show today.
The figures from Gas Networks Ireland show that gas generated 52% of Ireland’s electricity in April, up 27% on March’s level of 41% and 37% on the first quarter level of 38%.
Gas Networks Ireland said this provided much needed back up to compensate for a fall off in wind, while it also supported a significant reduction in coal generation.
Wind energy had one of its strongest Aprils on record – generating 32% of the country’s electricity – but its contribution fell 3% month on month and 17.5% on the first quarter.
Coal’s share fell by 57% to represent just 6% of Ireland’s electricity supplies in April.
At times during the month, gas powered nearly 90% of the country’s electricity, peaking at 89% and never dropping below 17%, while coal peaked at 22% with a low of 2%.
Wind energy peaked at 75% 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 the country’s electricity.
April saw significant increases in gas demand from the laundry (+103%), retail (+46%), hotel (+40%) and leisure (+20%) sectors when compared to the same time last year when strict public health restrictions were in place to combat the spread of Covid-19.
Gas Networks Ireland Head of Regulatory Affairs, Brian Mullins said that as we have moved into late Spring and early Summer, gas is playing an even greater role in meeting the country’s energy needs.
He said that April to September tend to be the months of highest gas demand for electricity generation, as wind levels typically fall off.
“Ireland’s gas network continues to be the reliable and flexible backbone of the energy system and key to our energy security of supply,” he added.