ENA’s Gas Goes Green Customer Forum to discuss UK biomethane boost

The Energy Networks Association’s (ENA) Gas Goes Green Customer Forum will meet for the first time to discuss delivering a biomethane boost in the UK.

The Forum will bring together all five of the UK’s gas networks – Cadent, Northern Gas Networks, National Grid, Southern Gas Networks, Wales & West Utilities – and leading representatives of the biomethane industry, including the Association of Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA) and the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) to agree as a community how they can speed up and simplify the new way new sources of green gas connect to the UK’s gas networks.

The ENA’s Gas Goes Green programme is forecasting that up to one-third of the UK’s gas supplies will be sourced from biomethane by 2050, working in partnership with hydrogen to replace natural gas. ADBA estimates that the AD sector could reach its full potential for biomethane production by as soon as 2030.

The Forum will review and make changes to the processes that biomethane producers use to connect to the grid; the commercial arrangements needed to do so; and the standards they have to follow, to ensure they are simplified and standardised across the nation.

The changes made by the Forum will be delivered through a Connections Action Plan, with updates provided through the Forum. It will also identify any barriers, share best practice, enable other efficiencies and improvements, and respond to industry developments.

“With so much excitement about hydrogen at the moment, it’s important not to forget the vital role that biomethane has to play,” said Chris Train, the ENA’s Gas Goes Green champion.

“Not only can it deliver a lot of the energy we all need, but it can do so without our households and businesses needing to change the appliances they rely on while boosting local supply chains in the process.

“The new Gas Goes Green Customer Forum is a signal from the UK’s gas network companies that they are serious about scaling-up the role that biomethane has to play in delivering the world’s first zero-carbon gas grid here in the UK.”

Charlotte Morton, chief executive at ADBA, said: “As we in the industry know, biomethane has huge potential to cut emissions today and in the hardest to decarbonise sectors such as transport and heating.

“However, many outside of the industry are still unaware in particular that biomethane is a technology already in production and capable of scaling-up fast now, and, therefore, the only option for decarbonising how we heat our homes available today.

“Moreover, it does so using the existing gas network infrastructure and most importantly, without the need for households to replace their gas boilers. In the future, as the technology challenges to hydrogen are overcome, biomethane will also be able to support the production of green hydrogen.

“This forum is a really important step towards facilitating easier grid connections for producers, which in turn will help to put more green gas into the grid to heat those homes, as well as provide low- and in many cases negative-carbon fuel for transport.”

Kiara Zennaro, head of biogas at the REA, said collaboration between gas networks and producers is “absolutely key” to overcoming barriers to connect more green gas projects to the network. “We need to simplify connections, ensure consistency across the country and lower costs,” said Zennaro.

“This will boost the volumes of green gas injected into the network, delivering immediate greenhouse gas (GHG) savings and making deep inroads into GHG emissions.”

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