Tesco Ireland to purchase biogas made from its surplus food

Supermarket giant Tesco will soon become the first retailer in Ireland to purchase biogas made from its surplus food to power stores.

Tesco Ireland will partner with Kildare, Ireland-based Green Generation to reduce its carbon emissions through anaerobic digestion (AD). The supermarket chain will reduce its carbon emissions by 1,200 tonnes per year through its partnership on a renewable gas initiative facilitated by Gas Networks Ireland.

The partnership will see enough renewable gas created from Tesco’s food surplus to power six of its stores in Ireland. Under the programme, Green Generation will process Tesco Ireland’s remaining food surplus, which has not been donated to FoodCloud, Tesco’s surplus food charity partner since 2014, or given free of charge to colleagues, as its AD plant in Nurney. Fed into the gas network at nearby Cush, County Kildare, Tesco Ireland will purchase renewable gas outputs from the facility via Naturgy, the energy supplier.

“This new partnership with Green Generation aligns with our Little Helps Sustainability plan, which guides us in tackling climate change and food waste and allows us to support indigenous and creative solutions to the increasing challenges faced by society as a result,” said Kari Daniels, CEO of Tesco Ireland.

“This new initiative will help us in our ambition to become a zero-carbon retailer by 2050, as we work together to support national and international climate action.”

Billy Costello, director at Green Generation, commented: “We’re proud to be at the forefront of developing a new green energy partnership with Gas Networks Ireland and are delighted to reach this milestone and see renewable gas flowing on Ireland’s gas network.

“We have been generating energy from waste for a number of years and I know that renewable gas can not only solve our energy issues, but it can also help deliver a truly sustainable circular economy, by harnessing food and animal waste to deliver clean energy.”

The dedicated renewable gas entry point in Cush became fully operational in May and joined Corrib and Kinsale as the three indigenous gas sources on Ireland’s network. Once flowing at maximum capacity, Cush can supply biogas to around 11,000 homes. Green Generation, the firm producing the carbon-neutral gas, has invested €2.5 million in the Nurney facility.

Gas Networks Ireland invested €1.7 million in the Cush injection point and is planning to develop larger renewable gas entry points across Ireland in the coming years. Gas Networks Ireland managing director Denis O’Sullivan added: “Renewable gas is a key pillar in our vision fully decarbonise the gas network by 2050, along with hydrogen and carbon capture and storage.

“We are delighted to facilitate Tesco and Diageo in embracing this technology both as a supplier of waste and a user of clean energy.

“Cush is Ireland’s first dedicated renewable gas entry point and it now joins Corrib and Kinsale as being an indigenous fuel supply point. Natural gas currently represents 30% of the country’s primary energy mix and powers on average 50% of Ireland’s electricity generation.

“Substituting renewable gas for natural gas is seamless and it’s one of the ways Gas Networks Ireland can reduce Irelands total carbon dioxide emissions across key sectors including electricity, industry, heat, transport, and agriculture.”

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