Belfast Telegraph

Wholesale gas prices drop by a third in Northern Ireland, report reveals

By Staff Reporter

Wholesale gas prices in Northern Ireland were down more than a third during the month of May, according to a report today.

Research into the wholesale energy market by supplier Vayu Energy said the slump was due to over-supply and reduced demand in Europe.

And Vayu analyst Joanne Daly said there could be price volatility ahead due to planned maintenance of gas fields in Norway - though health supplies of liquefied natural gas from the Middle East could help meet demand.

Vayu, which is an Irish company part-owned by Glencore plc, said the average wholesale price of electricity was also down by nearly a quarter on last year.

And that could be attributed to the lower price for gas - the main energy source for generating electricity in the province.

But healthy contributions from renewable energy such as wind had also contributed.

Ms Daly said wind energy was playing "an ever more important role in meeting Northern Ireland's electricity demand, helping to drive down prices and reduce the country's dependence on more expensive sources of energy"

And wind accounted for 16% of overall electricity generation during May, she added, reaching a peak on May 2 when it met 60% of demand.

Vayu has operated in the Republic since 2003 as a business natural gas supplier and now supplies over 20% of Ireland's largest natural gas business users.

It has said it intends to grow its business here by targeted large-scale industrial users.

Belfast Telegraph