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UK can displace 25 percent of LNG imports by 2035 with biomethane

A new report by the Renewable Energy Association outlines the potential for the UK to produce the equivalent of more than 45 LNG tankers’ worth of renewable biomethane per annum by 2035.

A new report by the Renewable Energy Association’s (REA) biogas sector group outlines the potential for the UK to produce the equivalent of more than 45 LNG tankers’ worth of renewable biomethane (≈40TWh) per annum by 2035. According to the report, fifty biomethane projects were completed in the UK by the end of 2015, making the UK’s biomethane industry the fastest growing in the world.

An additional fifteen projects expected to be completed during this year and by the end of 2016 the UK will be domestically producing more biomethane than LNG imported at the Dragon, Milford Haven terminal in 2014. If the industry’s growth to 2035 reaches expectations, the UK’s production of biomethane will be 2.4 times greater than the volume of LNG that was imported by both the Dragon and Isle of Grain terminals in 2014. Such production could result in the UK being able to reduce its LNG imports by over 25 percent from 2014 levels.

– While the government for years has touted the ‘fracking revolution,’ biomethane is actually getting on with the job of increasing our domestic gas production whilst decarbonising supply. It is also about the pragmatic use of our existing resources- the gas is produced by digesting food and other organic wastes. By producing this gas we are improving our sustainability and policies such as UK-wide separate food waste collections would be a cost-effective means of boosting production, said Dr Kiara Zennaro, Head of UK Biogas, a sector group of the REA.

A Scania biomethane fuelled bus on show at the UK AD & Biogas 2015.

A Scania biomethane fuelled bus on show at the UK AD & Biogas 2015.

The report also details the existing size and scope of the industry in the UK, the use of green gas certificates, carbon savings, and the market potential. Gasification is identified as an emerging technology with the potential to reliably supply the transportation sector. The REA estimates indicate that the UK is not on track to meet its legally binding 2020 renewable heat and transport sub-targets. Supporting the “renewable gaseous” industry could help the UK to meet its 2020 targets and to make an even bigger contribution in the next decade. The report makes recommendations to government, calling for key policy changes.

– The use of renewable gaseous fuels in transport is an exciting advance that offers a cost effective means of decarbonising transport, especially for trucks and other heavy goods vehicles, which have few available decarbonisation options. Transport offers another outlet for low carbon biomethane from waste and we remain committed to the prospect of using society’s wastes to build a more efficient economy, said Clare Wenner, Head of the Renewable Transport Group, a sector group of the REA.

5292/AS

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