Gas demand in August increased by 2% compared to July and was up by 12% on the same time last year, new figures from Gas Networks Ireland show today.

Gas demand in the air travel sector jumped by 75%, while it rose by 42% in the retail sector and was up 15% in the leisure and sport sectors on the same time last year when Covid-19 restrictions were still in place.

The warm weather contributed to a 31% decrease in the demand across the domestic sector when compared to the same time last year.

While the peak summer holiday season continued, there were also significant annual decreases in the construction and education sectors, which saw falls of 31% and 28% respectively.

Gas Networks Ireland noted that gas generated 64% of Ireland's electricity in August, up 3% on July and up 16% on the same time last year.

The amount of electricity generated by wind energy in August fell by 14% year-on-year to 19%.

At times during the month, gas powered up to 92% of the country’s electricity generation.

The share of electricity generated by gas did not drop below 20% at any point during August.

Meanwhile, coal contributed 10% of power generation in August, peaking at 21%, with a low of less than 1%.

Wind peaked at 71% during the month but given the variable nature of weather dependent renewable energy sources, there were also times in August when the wind supply dropped almost completely and contributed less than 1% of electricity generation.

"The good weather we enjoyed in August had a direct impact on the amount of wind energy available in Ireland, as there wasn't a lot of wind around during the month," Gas Networks Ireland’s Head of Regulatory Affairs, Brian Mullins, said.

"Gas continues to be the dependable back-up source of energy for the country. Being able to harness weather-dependant renewable wind energy when it is available and back it up with the flexibility and reliability of gas when there is little or no wind, provides a secure and complete energy system for the people of Ireland," he added.