The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) is supporting the introduction of renewable natural gas to the Irish transmission network with a revision to the Gas Safety Guidelines to incorporate renewable gas injection facilities. In addition, the CRU has commenced a consultation on changes to the gas transmission tariff methodology, which includes proposals to facilitate new renewable gas entry points to the system.
The availability of indigenous renewable gas will assist in security of supply and allow users of the natural gas network to decrease their carbon intensity and assist Ireland as it moves to a low carbon economy.
As part of a revision of the EU network code on harmonised gas transmission tariff structures the CRU has developed a proposal for a single tariff for renewable natural gas entry points.
This will effectively mean that all renewable natural gas entry points connecting to the transmission system face an equivalent tariff, regardless of location, to provide a more equitable and simpler solution and provide investor certainty to assist with the efficient entry of biogas to the transmission network.
The introduction of new technologies to existing systems can pose challenges and this has required the CRU to proactively update its Safety Case Guidelines for natural gas and LPG licensed undertakings to incorporate the introduction of Renewable Natural Gas into the distribution and transmission network in Ireland.
By incorporating Renewable Natural Gas into the guidelines, it is CRU’s intention to ensure Renewable Natural Gas delivery facilities, suppliers and system operators commit to using effective policies, procedures and safeguards in maintaining public safety, security of supply and asset integrity risks to a level which is As Low as Reasonably Practicable in the interests of public safety.
Commenting on the decision, CRU Commissioner Aoife MacEvilly said: “The CRU has a key role to play in enabling the transition to a low carbon economy. These decisions will facilitate the growing indigenous renewable natural gas industry in Ireland, which in turn will contribute to the decarbonisation of our energy system.”