DECC Publishes Guide to injecting Biomethane into Gas Grid

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01 March 2010

The Government published the guidance document entitled 'Biomethane into the Gas Network: A Guide for Producers' as part of a commitment made in the UK Renewable Energy Strategy to explain the gas regulatory system to medium and small-scale AD producers. The guide is intended to help producers of biogas, who may not have considered injecting it into the gas grid, make an informed choice between the various marketing options available to them.

Although biogas generated from AD plant will first have to be converted into biomethane before it can be injected into the grid, the DECC report notes that there are a number of existing commercial technologies available to perform the necessary carbon and impurity removal. It is expected that such biomethane injection might contribute significantly towards meeting the UK's 2020 renewable energy targets.

Along with the provision of technical information, an explanation of the main parties in the gas market and a summary of the relevant licensing and contractual arrangements amongst a variety of other important topics, the guide advances a number of reasons why AD operators should consider grid injection over on-site usage. DECC argues that converting the biogas into biomethane and injecting it would be up to 60% more energy efficient than utilising it on-site in electricity-only applications (although these arguments have yet to be generally accepted).

The publication of the guide underscores the growing commercial recognition given to AD technology in the achievement of the UK's renewable energy targets and efforts to resist climate change. The guide is freely accessible from DECC's website, Click here 

The publication by DECC follows on the heels of national renewable energy producer Ecotricity's recent launch of a scheme whereby the company undertakes to feed methane generated from renewable sources into the grid to compensate for the gas used by participating customers. Although similar green tariff schemes have been in existence for some time in the electricity sector, the company's new venture represents a significant step towards developing a customer base for renewable gas.

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