January 2022 Gas Demand Statement

Three days in January among top 30 for daily gas demand recorded in last 12 years

With a drop in mean temperatures and people around the country returning to offices and school after the Christmas holidays, gas demand in January was up almost 11% on December.

Demand was so strong that three days during January were among the top 30 for daily gas demand recorded in the last 12 years.

Gas demand increased month-on-month across most commercial sectors, including manufacturing (+21%), power generation (+17%), education (+15%), office (+10%) and pharmaceutical (+10%).

When compared to January 2021, there were significant increases from the retail (+62%) and laundry (+51%) sectors, with an easing of Covid-19 restrictions compared to the same time last year.

Despite these increases, overall gas demand in January was down 6% on the same month last year, when gas demand reached the highest monthly level in over a decade and the third highest ever.

A windy start to the year saw wind energy provide 68% of Ireland’s electricity on New Year’s Day, however it dropped off throughout much of the month, generating 33% of total electricity demand which was down seven percentage points on December.

Gas remained the primary source of electricity generation, powering 45% of Ireland’s electricity demand in January with coal providing 14%.

At its peak, wind generated up to 76% of Ireland’s electricity during January. However, as is the nature of intermittent renewable energy sources, there were also times in the month when the wind supply fell away and provided as little as 1% of the country’s electricity requirements.

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

Gas Networks Ireland’s Head of Regulatory Affairs, Brian Mullins, said:

“Although it was a windy start to the year, gas’s share of electricity generation climbed on December’s total, powering 45% of Ireland’s electricity and again highlighting the essential role that gas plays in our energy mix and in complementing intermittent renewable electricity sources.

“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. Although down 6% this year, there were three days during January 2022 when demand for gas closed amongst the top 30 for daily demand recorded in 12 years.”