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Biomethane to grid – What are the challenges?

Injecting biomethane produced through anaerobic digestion into the gas grid has an array of benefits. It is one of the most efficient uses of biogas and reduces our reliance on imported fossil gas, thus contributing to meeting the UK’s renewable energy and climate change targets whilst improving our energy security. Biomethane from AD could potentially deliver 10% of the UK’s domestic gas demand.

Last week the UK’s first commercial scale, biomethane-to-grid plant was opened at Poundbury near Dorset by Prince Charles (read his speech here). Such successful pioneering projects are encouraging for the whole industry, however, there remain a number of challenges to speeding up the number of AD plants injecting into the gas grid across the UK. According to Ofgem, connecting to local distribution networks is the best option for producers of biomethane, which “raises a number of questions, including how the low pressure network can accommodate injections of biomethane, especially during the summer months; who is going to pay for the investment needed to allow the network to take biomethane throughout the year; and ensuring the quality of biomethane entering the network is the same as the rest of the gas already in the network.” As a result, grid connection costs are extremely high.

ADBA’s National Conference 2012 (12 December, Westminster) features a special Biomethane to Grid breakout session chaired by Dave Lander, Director of Dave Lander Consulting, looking at the progress to date addressing these issues and the value Green Gas Trading will add for producers and users of biomethane. Steve Rowe, Senior Manager (GB Markets) at Ofgem, will examine Ofgem’s latest gas to grid strategy and the extent to which the recommendations from the Energy Markets Issues for Biomethane group (EMIB) will be taken into account. Pete Burnill from DECC’s RHI team will provide the latest on how the RHI can best support gas to grid installations and Grant Ashton will provide an update on Green Gas Trading (GGT). Looking at the UK’s most innovative gas to grid injection project, Coen Meijers from technology supplier DMT Environmental and Alan Midwinter, Commercial Services Project Manager at Scotia Gas Networks (SGN) will be sharing their experiences and the lessons learnt from their involvement in the Poundbury project.

Find out more about the gas to grid session and the ADBA National Conference 2012 here.


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