Irish wholesale gas prices have nearly halved in the past year, according to a new report.

The Vayu Wholesale Energy Market Report shows there has been a 45% drop in gas prices between April 2015 and the same month this year, while there has been a 6% fall in the last month.

The study attributes the fall to an abundant supply of gas in Europe – which is suppressing demand –and a significant strengthening in the value of the euro over the last year.

The market has seen increased supplies from Russia and Norway as well as strong imports of LNG (liquefied natural gas) from the Middle East.

The average day-ahead price for gas – the contract for gas delivery for tomorrow – is 1.21 c/kWh (cents per kilowatt hour) so far in April.

This compares with an average price of 2.22 c/kWh in April 2015

Irish wholesale gas prices have almost halved in euro terms (down 49%) compared with the average monthly price recorded for April over the previous three years (2013-2015).

Commenting on the data, Senior Energy Analyst at Vayu says Gillian Lawlor said: ‘’For the most part prices have been trading sideways recently, however, this week there has been an increase on spot and future gas contracts, as a 22% increase on Brent crude since the start of the month makes itself felt.”

Meanwhile, the average wholesale price of electricity in the Irish market so far during April is 35% lower on the same period a year ago, at 3.56 c/kWh.

The lower prices for gas – the main energy source used to generate electricity in Ireland – are believed to be contributing to this fall, while a strong contribution of renewable sources such as wind has also been a significant factor.