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Parliamentary report shows green gas heating up

A report published yesterday by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST), which used data collated from ADBA’s 2015 market report, has shown that seven per cent of the UK’s indigenous gas was supplied by biogas from anaerobic digestion (AD) and landfill gas last year.

In 2014, the UK produced 37 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas and biogas combined; 2.6bcm of which was generated from AD and landfill. Since then the biomethane industry has quadrupled in scale, with 40 gas-to-grid plants now generating enough indigenous gas to heat over 100,000 homes or fuel around ten per cent of the UK’s bus fleet. POST estimate that UK natural gas production will fall from 2016, with biogas becoming an increasingly important part of our gas supplies.

The POST report’s release comes a week before the Spending Review, which will set out the government’s plans for future support for biomethane, and follows a recently leaked letter from the Energy Secretary, Amber Rudd, to her Cabinet colleagues that appears to signal recognition for biomethane’s role in a sustainable UK energy mix.  

ADBA’s Chief Executive, Charlotte Morton, commented:

The fact that green gas represented 7% of the UK’s indigenous gas supply in 2014 represents a colossal milestone for the biogas industry. And the timing could not be better as the Chancellor considers the future of the Renewable Heat Incentive, which is crucial to facilitate further growth in biomethane, in his Spending Review announcement next week.

With continued support for additional biomethane capacity, anaerobic digestion could potentially meet 30% of UK domestic gas demand.

The UK needs 20TWh more renewable heat by 2020 to meet the government’s 12% target – biomethane could deliver a third of that.

This year’s ADBA National Conference will be the first AD industry event in the wake of the Autumn Statement, during which the Chancellor of the Exchequer will outline key spending decisions on crucial government incentive schemes such as the Renewable Heat Initiative (RHI).

The Westminster-based event on 3 December will consider the impact of policy changes and the future pathways for biomethane’s use with key speakers, including senior representatives from: the Department for Transport (DfT); the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC); Scotia Gas Networks (SGN); and the Institute of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM).  

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