The Government has launched its new Gas Generation Strategy that aims to boost UK gas supplies, but it gives no mention to either gas derived from anaerobic digestion or gasification.
As part of his autumn statement, Chancellor George Osborne announced the creation of a cross-departmental Office for Unconventional Oil and Gas, with the Gas Generation Strategy document being launched by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
As part of this, the Government will consult on extracting shale gas in the UK through fracking.
The Government believes that up to 26GW of new gas generating capacity could be required by 2030, with 5GW of this being a net increase once retiring coal, nuclear and older gas capacity is retired.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: “We have always said that gas will have a significant role in our electricity mix over the next two decades – this is not new.
“Gas will provide a cleaner source of energy than coal, and will ensure we can keep the lights on as increasing amounts of wind and nuclear come online through the 2020s.
“The strategy we have set out follows extensive consultation and is consistent with meeting our legalised carbon budgets and with significant decarbonisation of the power sector.”
However, Renewable Energy Association head of biogas David Collins said that renewable gas from AD and gasification could play a vital role in the UK’s gas future, but has not been acknowledged in the strategy.
He said: “It is disappointing to see no mention of renewable gas in the Government’s Gas Strategy. Today represents a missed opportunity to celebrate the genuinely good work the industry and Government is doing on the ground to overcome the barriers to injection of biomethane into the gas grid.
“National Grid estimates that biomethane, if exploited fully, could provide around 25 per cent of the UK’s residential gas supply.
“Renewable gas can make a vital contribution to boosting the domestic security of our gas grid. It also has excellent emissions and landfill displacement properties, and provides tremendous economic opportunities for farmers and small businesses.”