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UK renewable gas industry to snowball

As two UK-based plants producing renewable gas for injection into the National Grid came online at the beginning of October, the Renewable Energy Association (REA) claims that they have been built in expectation of regulations being introduced next year to create a financial incentive for renewable gas.

The Labour government was planning to introduce the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) in April 2011. However the new coalition government is expected to commit to the scheme on 20th October, which could provide 20% or more of UK domestic gas.

The chief executive of REA Gaynor Hartnell stated: ‘Now that the first green gas has started to flow in the UK, sellers and buyers want to show it is properly accounted for. We’re launching a certification scheme, so that every unit of green gas that goes into the network can be tracked. This will make sure there will be none of the double counting that dogged the early days of the green electricity market.’

Due to be up and running within a matter of weeks, founder participants of the scheme include Centrica, E.ON, National Grid, Thames Water, Bio Group, Adnams and CNG Services.

John Baldwin, chairman of the REA’s Biogas Group, praised the Adnams Brewery and its project dedicated to producing biomethane from brewery and food waste. The brewery delivered its biomethane to the gas grid on 8 October 2010.

Baldwin said: ‘This is a really innovative project. It will be the first to turn food leftovers into renewable gas and it will soon be running its delivery fleet on this clean fuel. The project will also produce fertiliser, which will be spread on farmland where the barley is grown for Adnams beer. This will replace mineral fertilisers, which have a heavy carbon footprint. It’s an exemplar of how to turn potential wastes into valuable commodities.’