Exploiting the potential of Green Grid Gas

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02 February 2010

Green electricity tariffs are fast becoming an established way for environmentally conscious consumers to match their electricity consumption with input from renewable energy sources. A scheme proposed by Ecotricity looks set to exploit the growing interest in methane from renewable sources by providing a similar scheme for its gas customers. Ecotricity take the money its customers spend on electricity and invest it in clean forms of power such as Anaerobic Digestion (AD).

Under the proposed scheme, customers' gas supplies will essentially remain unchanged and Ecotricity will undertake to feed methane generated from renewable sources into the grid to compensate for the gas used by participating customers. Gas from anaerobic digestion plant is likely to feature heavily in the green methane mix.

The company has promised to increase the proportion of green gas supplied to customers as more renewable methane plants come on-stream, with a target of achieving 100% green supply. The distribution of green gas directly to consumers promises to provide a much more energy efficient dissemination of the energy stored within the gas, as opposed to burning it on site to produce electricity to feed into the National Grid.

Ecotricity has not yet announced how the scheme will work on the ground and it remains to be seen whether the company will seek to acquire gas from existing or future independent gas producers or build or otherwise acquire its own gas producing plant. Technicalities such as connection into existing gas infrastructure also remain to be addressed, but the scheme represents a significant step toward developing a consumer base for renewable gas.

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