Renewable gas at forefront of Gas Networks Ireland's 2050 plan

02/12/2019 11:55

Gas Networks Ireland and its parent company Ervia say they will reduce Ireland’s carbon emissions by a third with their Vision 2050 plan.

Using a combination of technologies, Gas Networks Ireland (GNI) intends to reduce Ireland’s total carbon emissions by one third and create a net zero carbon gas network.

GNI’s vision is that by 2050 half of the gas on Ireland’s network will be renewable gas and hydrogen. The other half will be ‘abated gas’, from which the carbon dioxide (CO₂) has been removed via carbon capture and storage (CCS). 

The company’s Vision 2050 plan outlines the role the gas network and technologies such as renewable gas, compressed natural gas (CNG) for transport, CCS and hydrogen will play in tackling climate change and securing Ireland’s sustainable energy future.

“We believe that natural gas with CCS along with renewable gas and hydrogen are all part of our energy future,” said Cathal Marley, interim CEO of Ervia.

“We welcome the Climate Change Advisory Council’s recent statement that highlighted the importance of natural gas as a transition fuel and that if we are to decarbonise the Irish economy by 2050, there will be a need for significant deployment of CCS with natural gas as a component of Ireland’s energy system. This is aligned with the core part of our Vision 2050 roadmap.”

Denis O’Sullivan, Managing Director of Gas Networks Ireland, said: “Because Ireland’s €2.6 billion gas network is one of the most modern and safe gas networks in the world with no capacity constraints, it can be used with minimal investment to facilitate renewable energies including renewable gas and hydrogen. 

“We believe that the gas network has a long-term role to play in meeting our nation’s energy demand and that Ireland cannot achieve its climate ambitions without it.

“We have already started to deliver our vision for 2050 with renewable gas being injected successfully into Ireland’s gas network for the first time, the opening of the first public CNG refuelling station and our work on the potential of hydrogen and CCS technology.”

Gas is used to generate around 50 per cent of Ireland’s electricity. A move to 70 per cent renewable sources for electricity generation, such as wind and solar, is planned by 2030 as part of the nation’s climate action targets.

According to GNI, achieving these targets “will require a significant reliance on gas-powered electricity generation” to provide balance and ensure Ireland has a secure energy supply.

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