UK government extends Green Gas Support Scheme to 2028
The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) said the move is in response to feedback on the challenges faced by the industry in securing waste feedstocks, and supply chain delays affecting deployment.
The government is also introducing an exemption for heat supplied by eligible heat pumps to stop it being deducted as part of eligible biomethane calculations in the same way that fossil fuel heat sources are.
Scheme participants using an eligible heat pump may receive increased eligible biomethane tariff payments as a result, said DESNZ.
Other decisions include maintaining the current 50% waste feedstock threshold; maintaining requirements for managing digestate under the GGSS; and maintaining the current eligibility criteria for the GGSS, and not allowing CHP conversions under the scheme - although it will consider the role of CHP's as part of a future biomethane policy framework.
The review added DESNZ will take steps across government to develop its understanding of monitoring and mitigation practices to reduce methane emissions in the production of biomethane.
Tariff guarantees and commissioning window deadlines will not be amended, due to the scheme's broader extension.
"We intend to make the necessary regulatory changes from this mid-scheme review in Spring 2024, when parliamentary time allows," said DESNZ.
"We have set out plans to test our thinking on a future biomethane policy framework and will gather further evidence on this in 2024."
Chair of the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) Chris Huhne welcomed the announcement: "The extension until 2028 gives investors and developers more long-term certainty to build new biogas plants. It also confirms other positive proposals we recommended in our consultation response last year."
“Biogas can play a key role in decarbonising the hardest-to-decarbonise sectors in the country” he added. “With the right policy support, biogas can provide more energy than nuclear in 2031. We can build hundreds of biogas plants on time and on budget in the time it takes to announce another delay to a nuclear power plant. Moreover, green gas is easy to store and so it is a better back-up to cheap solar and wind.”