Kerry County Council has become the first Local Authority in Ireland to test trial a zero carbon Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) powered by compressed renewable gas.
The Scania P-series CNG truck was supplied by Scania dealers, T. Nolan & Sons, Castleisland, and fueled using carbon neutral renewable gas from the national gas network supplied by Gas Networks Ireland.
During the two-week trial, Kerry County Council used this clean transport solution to move road salt from County Tipperary.
Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, Cllr Patrick Connor-Scarteen commented on the trial: “Meeting Ireland’s climate target is a big challenge and transport is one of the hardest sectors to decarbonise. We are delighted to do our bit in Kerry and trial trucks powered by renewable gas as a viable option to reduce our fleet emissions.”
While only 4% of vehicles on Ireland’s roads are classified as HGVs and buses, they account for 30% of all emissions in the road transport sector.
Compressed natural gas (CNG) can reduce HGV well-to-wheel emissions by up to 23% (Cenex 2019) compared to diesel and deliver cost savings for operators of up to 35% (Cadent 2016).
However, as the volume of carbon neutral renewable gas on the national network increases into the future, hauliers and fleet operators who have made the switch to gas will increasingly reduce their carbon footprint without changing a thing.
Renewable gas is structurally identical to natural gas and compatible with the existing infrastructure, technology and vehicles. With locally supplied renewable gas now on the Irish network, gas is the affordable, proven and sustainable long-term solution for Ireland’s fleet managers and hauliers.
Gas Networks Ireland’s CNG Programme Delivery Manager, Declan O’Sullivan, said: “We are delighted that Kerry County Council has joined companies around Ireland in experiencing the emissions and cost savings associated with using both natural and renewable gas in HGVs.
“Gas Networks Ireland is on a journey to decarbonise the transport sector. Renewable gas, which is entering the gas network today, enables carbon neutral transport, as CNG vehicles operating on natural gas today are future proofed for renewable gas.
“By delivering a network of CNG filling stations and enabling the introduction of renewable gas to the network, we are supporting hauliers and fleet operators to make a sustainable switch to a carbon neutral fuel.”
On 1 March, Gas Networks Ireland announced a €2.9m CNG Vehicle Grant scheme to support the purchase of up to 400 gas-powered trucks, buses and vans and help drive a more sustainable transport sector.
The Grant will cover 20% of the difference between CNG and diesel-powered vehicles, capped at €5,000, with a maximum €60,000 available to any one applicant. Grants can be used towards the costs of vehicles registered from 2020.
The CNG Vehicle Fund is co-financed by the European Union’s TEN-T Programme under the Connecting Europe Facility as part of the Green Connect Project. Applications are now being accepted at www.gasnetworks.ie/cngvehiclegrant.