The national gas network can continue to deliver the least cost, least disruptive decarbonisation of Ireland's heating sector.
There are over two million residential dwellings in Ireland and many of these homes rely on solid fuels or oil for heating. Decarbonisation of this existing housing stock is challenging. While electric heating solutions are available, they are cost-prohibitive for many home and business owners.
A pathway to decarbonise heating
Domestic heating accounts for 9% of Ireland's total CO₂ emissions. Equal to almost 6Mt CO₂.
Immediate emissions saving achievable by converting 300,000 homes from oil to natural gas
Emitting 40% less CO2 than coal and 22% less CO2 than oil, natural gas has been helping the 706,000 Irish homes and businesses connected to the national gas network reduce their carbon footprint for over 40 years, and offers immediate emissions reductions for the 300,000 homes along the gas network not currently connected to it. Furthermore, as the volume of biomethane on the network increases, those connected to the national gas network will increasingly reduce their carbon footprint without changing a thing.
Why gas and the gas network provide a smart solution to decarbonising heating.
Our vision to decarbonise heat
Short to medium term
Convert the 300,000 homes and businesses on or near the gas network from oil and solid fuels to gas. This will immediately reduce CO2 emissions by 0.3Mt/annum and the carbon intensity of these homes by 30%.
What we are doing
We opened Ireland’s first renewable gas injection point opened in Cush, Co. Kildare, in 2019. While there are currently only small volumes entering the gas network, the entry point has the potential to supply gas to up to 9,000 homes. In 2021 we received planning permission for a second renewable gas injection point in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, which the potential to supply gas to 64,000 homes.
To ensure that the existing gas network is capable of safely transporting and storing zero carbon hydrogen in the future, we are developing a Hydrogen Innovation Centre in Citywest, Dublin, which will allow pipelines, meters and appliances to be tested for use with a variety of hydrogen blends up to 100% hydrogen.
Develop a support scheme
The inclusion of renewable gas in the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH) is critical for the development of renewable gas projects in Ireland.
Building regulation amendments
Revise Part L of the Building Regulations to include gas boilers that are fuelled by a blend of natural and renewable gases and allow for the renewable element to be calculated toward the minimum renewable energy contribution.
Include the option to select renewable gas in Building Energy Rating (BER) certification for the domestic sector.
Technology neutral approach
Gas and the gas network can deliver immediate emissions reductions for Ireland. Longer term, emerging technologies can deliver further reductions. All technologies must be allowed to compete for future adoption to ensure that viable solutions are not ruled out now and regretted later.
Decarbonising Domestic Heating in Ireland
We commissioned KPMG to develop and evaluate a number of scenarios for the decarbonisation of one million Irish homes currently connected to or near to the national gas network.
Ireland has an ambitious vision to transform into a low carbon society and economy by 2050. While significant progress has been made to date in the decarbonisation of industrial energy and electricity generation, there is a recognition that more can and must be done to address other areas such as heating and transport, which also generate significant volumes of greenhouse gases.
This report focuses on the decarbonisation of the residential heating sector.Download the report