The importance of maintaining investment in Ireland’s gas network
The national gas network must be capable of maintaining an acceptable level of service in the face of faults or other abnormal conditions such as very cold weather. Given that gas network development projects take a number of years to complete, maintaining a steady level of development and renewal is essential to ensure having a network that is safe, resilient and of sufficient capacity to meet peak demands, in the medium to longer term.
Security of gas supply
Gas is supplied to three categories of customer; electricity generation, large industry and SME/domestic. In 2017, 33% of this gas came from Britain via two subsea interconnectors linking Scotland to Ireland. This infrastructure also serves the Scotland/Northern Ireland Pipeline which meets 100% of Northern Ireland’s gas needs. The remaining gas demand was met by indigenous gas production from the Corrib (60%) and Kinsale (7%) gas fields.
The importance of diversifying sources of Ireland’s gas supplies
Ireland’s reliance on imported gas has significantly reduced with the coming ashore of indigenous gas from Corrib (production commenced in late 2015). While Britain will remain a key source of gas supply for Ireland, Ireland’s security of supply of both gas and electricity has greatly improved by the production of gas from the Corrib field.
From 2018 onwards, the volume of Gas supplied from the Corrib gas field is anticipated to decline resulting in an increase in demand from the UK.
Long Term Resilience Study 2018
At the request of this Department, Gas Networks Ireland and EirGrid conducted a study to evaluate Ireland’s resilience to a long duration gas disruption. They were also asked to examine the impact of potential mitigating measures like Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and gas storage, should these be deemed necessary.
The study found that Ireland’s gas network is largely resilient to cope with a long duration gas disruption in the medium to long term. However, there are options to further enhance Ireland’s security of gas supply. The report finds, subject to more detailed analysis, that floating LNG, usually referred to as a “Floating Storage and Re-gasification Unit (FSRU)”, coupled with increased bio-methane production, may be the most appropriate option.
This study will feed into the formulation of future policy measures to maintain the resilience of Ireland’s gas and electricity networks and supply. The study can be found at the following link Long Term Resilience Study 2018.pdf
EU Measures to Secure Energy Supplies
EU Measures to Safeguard Security of Supply
Energy Infrastructure Package - Projects of Common Interest