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The use of biomethane as transport fuel continues to grow in the UK

Earlier this month, the Department for Transport published the latest biofuel statistics from the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) current reporting period (11), running from April 2018 to April 2019.

This dataset covers until December 2018 and shows a strong increase in the volume of biomethane when compared with previous reporting periods. In these eight months, 7.6 million liters of biomethane were supplied to the market in comparison with the 6 million provided in the previous full reporting period. This makes up to 0.7% in comparison with 0.37% last reporting period and 0.04% in the preceding one.

While 7 of this 7.6 million liters come from food waste through anaerobic digestion, only 0.3 comes from local food waste, while almost 5 has been imported from Sweden. Other feedstocks include husks and roadside grass, also from Sweden and Austria. With a carbon intensity of 18 grams of CO2 equivalent per megajoule (MJ), this represents a greenhouse gas saving of 78% due to the replacing fossil fuels. All feedstocks producing biomethane are double counted for the purpose of the RTFO.

The rolling out of separated food waste collection around England would make millions of tonnes of food waste available from biomethane production in the UK. ADBA’s estimations are about 80 new food waste plants could be commissioned (average size being 50,000 tpa), with a 187 MWe-e of new combined capacity. This would require an estimated £860m investment, 2,500 temporary and 500 permanent jobs. £221k worth of digestate in each of the 80 food-waste AD plant can increase soil fertility around the country.

The final data for this reporting period will be published in November 2019.

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