Britain’s gas networks have launched a collaborative project to explore how biomethane could help deliver quicker reductions in carbon emissions and potential cost savings to customers, and continue to grow as the hydrogen economy develops.
“Maximising the Role of Green Gas” is being formally announced at the national conference of the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) in London today.
Wales & West Utilities, Cadent, SGN, National Gas and Northern Gas Networks want to understand the challenges and opportunities for biomethane production in the UK and what its development alongside low carbon hydrogen will mean for future network development, technology needs and investment. The organisations will be collaborating under the Energy Network’s Association’s (ENA) Gas Goes Green programme.
Biomethane is produced using organic feedstock that would otherwise go to waste – like animal slurry, food waste, other farm material or sewage sludge. This makes it a green fuel source and it could even generate negative carbon emissions where production from waste material is combined with carbon capture and utilisation or storage.
There are over 100 plants across the UK with capacity to produce enough biomethane to heat over 770,000 homes each year, saving around 1.2m tonnes of carbon in 2022. The sector has potential to grow further, alongside the development of low carbon hydrogen, which will need to work together to maximise the role green gasses can play in delivery net zero.
The final report, which is being delivered in partnership with ARUP, will document interactions between biomethane and hydrogen production; options for biomethane sites to produce hydrogen and hydrogen to support biomethane production; and consider the implications for the energy system.
Wales & West Utilities Head of Net Zero and Sustainability, Matt Hindle, who is leading the project across Britain’s gas networks, said:
“Homes, industries, transport and power generation all rely on the gas networks today and need solutions to help them meet net zero.
“The UK has one of the world’s leading biomethane sectors, with over 100 sites injecting green gas into our networks, and an ambitious government strategy for low carbon hydrogen. As gas networks, we need to ensure that biomethane and hydrogen can work together seamlessly in the 284,000km of pipelines we operate across Britain.
“Repurposing these networks for use with green gases like hydrogen and biomethane to help meet the challenge of the climate change act has the potential to reduces costs and with minimise gas customer disruption to gas customers compared to alternative decarbonisation solutions.”
Further information about progress being made by the Gas Goes Green programme can be found at the ENA’s website (https://www.energynetworks.org/creating-tomorrows-networks/gas-goes-green) and by signing up to the Gas Goes Green Insight Forums, which bring together some of the leading minds in the energy industry’