Quality Protocol Helps Unlock Renewable Energy Potential Of Biomethane

30-01-14(4)picThe Environment Agency, with support from WRAP, industry representatives and funding from LIFE +, has developed a Quality Protocol for Biomethane – launched today (30 Jan).

The Quality Protocol (QP) sets out end of waste criteria for the production and use of biomethane arising from the degradation of organic wastes in a landfill site or anaerobic digestion (AD) plant.

The QP enables the injection of the gas into the grid or use in an appliance suitably designed and operated for natural gas, without the need for waste regulatory controls.

“Biomethane to grid is an embryonic sector in the UK at present, with only a handful of trial projects in operation,” explains EA environment & business manager Roger Hoare. “This is largely due to cost and regulatory barriers that exist, one of which is the waste status of biogas from landfill and AD. This QP provides a route to overcoming this barrier.”

Matt Hindle, ADBA – “Biomethane has huge potential as a form of renewable energy which can decarbonise hard-to-reach areas such as industrial processes, heating and road transport”

The introduction of the new QP is projected to significantly stimulate growth in biomethane gas (largely from AD) and replace a substantial proportion (one percent by 2020) of UK domestic annual demand for natural gas. This will reduce UK dependence on imported gas, as well as reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and delivering an annualised cost saving to business of £34m, with far greater savings possible should other barriers also be remove. The Quality Protocol is applicable immediately in England and Wales.

The Quality protocol will be hosted on the Green Gas Certification Scheme website which is operated by REAL, a subsidiary company for the Renewable Energy Association. It can be accessed here or from the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association website [ www.adbiogas.co.uk].

Matt Hindle, policy manager of the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association, said: “Biomethane has huge potential as a form of renewable energy which can decarbonise hard-to-reach areas such as industrial processes, heating and road transport.

“The Quality Protocol will help developers and operators by giving greater certainty around waste controls, so ADBA welcomes its publication. On behalf of the industry we would also to thank the Environment Agency and all the other bodies involved in developing the QP for their work.”

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