National Grid comes out for Biogas in a big way – 50% of UK gas demand

Acording to National Grid “Renewable gas has the potential to make a significant contribution to the UK’s renewable energy and carbon reduction targets for 2020. And in the longer term, with the right government policies in place, renewable gas could meet up to 50% of UK residential gas demand. Produced mainly via a process of anaerobic digestion (AD) or thermal gasification of the UK’s biodegradeable waste, renewable gas represents a readily implementable solution for delivering renewable heat to homes in the UK.

Renewable gas can also deliver greater security of energy supply for the country as well as a solution for waste management as UK landfill capacity declines. In terms of the cost to the UK of delivering renewable gas, it is estimated that the marginal cost (i.e. that over and above the cost of the waste infrastructure which must be built anyway in the UK to deal with reducing landfill capacity) would be in the region of £10bn. This cost compares well with the likely cost of delivering other large scale renewables such as wind.

The unit cost of renewable gas would be of a similar level to the cost of other sources of renewable energy which are currently supported with subsidies. There are no insurmountable technical or safety barriers to delivering this solution (the technology is already being deployed in many other countries).

Full report at: Renwable Gas

 

 

1 Comment

  1. Reply

    I read the report from National Grid – a good effort and I’m all in favour of using waste to produce biomethane and injecting it into the grid to displace fossil fuel. This is an area that needs serious investigation as it could be a useful source of energy for the future. I have my doubts over the ‘stretch’ potential figures (calculations I’ve done for my own interest in the wet waste to anaerobic digestion field indicate the maximum potential is about half that claimed), but even the baseline (giving about 5% of national gas consumption, or 15% of domestic requirement)would be a useful contribution. It’s good that National Grid are “bigging it up” to raise interest, but all of us in the energy community need to be careful to maintain as much credibility with the public (and hence politicians and hence decision makers)as possible. Otherwise, this good idea could be lost in a sea of counter-claims. Finally, there are other issues and costs not touched upon by the report (infrastructure costs, power requirements, heat incentives, GHG emissions, etc)that may not work in biomethane’s favour. So, good idea, but let’s be a little more sensible about it.

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