Solutions to Ireland's climate challenges will require the successful deployment of many new technologies. Gas Networks Ireland has already begun to invest in such technologies, both to facilitate the introduction of renewable gas into the gas grid and to secure CNG from the gas grid as a source of transport fuel. Supporting the decarbonisation of Ireland's commercial transport sector, one of the most difficult sectors to decarbonise, through the use of gas in transport is a key part of Gas Networks Ireland's vision.
In Ireland, renewable gas is being used to make transport more sustainable, as well as providing long haul reliability and cost competitiveness and the number of CNG vehicles registered in Ireland has more than doubled in the last year. With the switch to CNG today and renewable gas in the future, the national gas grid will eventually power carbon-free HGV transport.
The development of the CNG grid is supported by grants from the Connecting Europe Facility and the Natural Gas Innovation Fund approved by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The study is co-funded and led by the project partner, the National University of Ireland in Galway.
The heavy duty vehicle (HDV) category deserves special attention, given the potentially positive environmental impact of switching HDVs from traditional transport fuels to alternative fuels such as CNG and renewable gas. Although only 4% of vehicles on Irish roads are classified as HDVs, they are responsible for 30% of all emissions from the road transport sector. Ultimately, CNG offers a clear pathway for the use of carbon-neutral renewable gas in the transport fuel mix. With the first dedicated renewable gas entry point in Kildare fuelling the grid with biomethane, renewable gas is becoming a real option for fleet managers and hauliers in Ireland.
As a result of these projects and the momentum generated from the public sector, there are now 4 CNG refuelling stations in Ireland open to the public.