Clearfleau calls for UK government to include biomethane in RTFO

Biomethane must be included in the UK government’s Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO), according to Clearfleau.

An article on the anaerobic digestion specialist’s website argues that bioenergy has a “key” role to play in the further decarbonisation of the UK’s food and beverage sector. It calls for the previously “non-committal” government to provide greater support for the use of onsite bioenergy plants to improve resource use and boost low-carbon manufacturing.

“Extracting value from unwanted residues and decentralised energy supplies should be part of the UK’s industrial strategy and the “clean growth plan” due to be published in the autumn,” the article from Clearfleau states.

“This should include helping SMEs with incentives for on-site energy and funding projects that showcase British technology.”

Pointing out that the food industry is already aware of the need to improve resource use and its impact on the environment, the article claims that the next step is to replace the fossil fuels used in distribution from farm to factory to customer.

With diesel demand rocketing for product distribution despite concerns over its environmental impact, and electric power unable to meet the requirements for heavy good vehicles (HGV), Clearfleau cites its recent report which argued that biomethane could be an alternative to diesel. That study, published in July, argued that the food factories of the future should be designed to generate biogas for product transport.

The article calls on policymakers to help achieve this end. “Government efforts to decarbonise transport under the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO) must be extended and address the barriers to change such as higher engine costs or lack of gas re-fuelling points.

 “The RTFO must include biomethane among the proposed low carbon development fuels and ensure that the flexibility of biogas is more widely recognised in a more supportive fiscal regime that could include enhanced capital allowances for non-fossil fuel engines or a VAT exemption for trucks that run on low carbon fuels.”

Stating that there is an opportunity for the food industry to lead the way in decarbonisation, Clearfleau calls for the government to support industrial trials of onsite production and supply of compressed or liquefied biomethane as a commercially viable HGV fuel. The Clearlfeau biomethane report argued that the technology was already available for small scale production and supply of CBM and LBM.

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