Cow dung, food waste and even sewage are capable of producing enough green gas to heat more than 750,000 homes, according to a new analysis by the Energy Networks Association (ENA).
Published yesterday, the first green gas dashboard, details how 109 biomethane or green gas production sites are now connected to the British gas network and produce enough biomethane to supply 770,654 homes. 23 other production sites are under development across the country.
Biomenthane can be produced from a number of sources, including animal, crop, food waste and sewage treatment plants, and can then be fed into the grid or used to produce gas. electricity, offering significant emission reductions compared to fossil gas.
‘Locally grown and locally produced green gas is a great way to cut emissions from our heat and power production, especially when it comes to keeping UK homes warm and the lights on during long and long periods of time. cold winter nights, ”said David Smith, director general of ENA.
“These figures show how much cow dung from our farms, leftover food from our restaurants and wastewater from our wastewater treatment plants have a huge role to play in reducing carbon emissions from our towns, villages. and communities, while providing them with secure energy supplies. “
Food waste from processing sites and restaurants produces enough biomethane to heat 200,000 homes, while crop waste provides gas that could heat 150,000 homes, wastewater treatment plants provide biomethane for the equivalent of 130 000 homes and agricultural waste provide green gas for another 83,000 homes, according to the dashboard.
The update also details how 181 flexible gas-fired power plants are now connected to the grid, which can provide electricity when the output of local wind and solar farms is low. A number of these power plants are also being converted to run on hydrogen as part of ENA’s Gas Goes Green initiative, which aims to decarbonize the gas sector by converting the gas network and power plants to run on hydrogen or biomethane.
The plans are at the heart of a fierce lobbying battle, with the gas industry arguing that a switch to hydrogen could decarbonize the heating industry without the need for drastic changes in people’s homes, while others counter that using hydrogen to heat buildings is likely to prove extremely expensive and that electric heating technologies offer a better way to decarbonize many homes.