Energy networks launch new Code to help deliver bumper levels of biomethane

Date: Tuesday 16th October 2018

As the country celebrates the UK’s green future as part of Green GB Week, Britain’s four gas distribution networks have today launched Energy Network Association’s (ENA) Biomethane Connections Code to make it easier for biomethane producers to get green gas into the grid. The Code has been launched to help speed up connections ahead of the January 2020 Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) deadline.

The move follows recent ENA research which showed that 75% of people want the Government to prioritise the production and use of domestic green gas over imported fossil fuel gas.

To ensure that biomethane plants can connect to the gas grid as quickly as possible to meet the RHI deadline, the ENA’s Biomethane Connections Code pledges that Britain’s gas network operators will:

    1. Introduce a standard way of connecting plants across all areas of Great Britain, so that biomethane developers have only one process to follow wherever they are
    2. Share resources between them as much as possible, to ensure that plants are connected as quickly as possible while maintaining the UK industry’s world-leading standards of safety
    3. Be fully transparent with biomethane developers about the speed and resources available to deliver connections, to make the connections process up to the January 2020 deadline as smooth as possible.

Up to £400m is expected to be invested in biomethane plants across the country over the next 16 months, as renewable energy developers seek to deliver new projects under the Government’s RHI scheme. There are currently 90 operational plants across the country, supplying over 300,000 homes with low carbon gas. Up to 50 more are expected to be commissioned by January 2020, when the RHI scheme ‘tariff guarantee’ closes.

Tina Hawke, Chair of ENA’s Biomethane Group, comments:

“This Code puts us in a good shape to manage and enable the predicted fast growth in the biomethane sector. We could have 50 per cent more plants introducing this green gas to grid across the UK by January 2020. The Code is a simplified, consistent process to help make this happen, without compromising on what is our absolute priority, safety.”

David Smith, ENA Chief Executive, adds:

“Our energy networks are committed building an efficient, smarter, cleaner energy system fit for the British public. Our members do this by investing efficiently, innovating constantly, and employing and training thousands of people in every region of Britain. ENA’s Biomethane Connections Code is a real and practical example of how they are doing that.”

James Court, Policy & External Affairs Director of Renewable Energy Association, also adds:

“We are pleased to see the commitment from the gas networks to cut red tape, standardise connections across Great Britain and connect all projects under development as swiftly as possible.  The gas networks are instrumental in helping deliver cost reductions for Biomethane to Grid projects and helping to deliver the decarbonisation of the gas grid.

 “The ENA findings that 75% of the public want the Government to prioritise the production and use of domestic green gas over imported fossil fuels further highlights that this is a welcomed and necessary move.”

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 Notes to editors

  • ENA represents the companies that operate and maintain the gas and electricity grid network in the UK and Ireland. Serving over 30 million customers, they are responsible for the transmission and distribution network of “wires and pipes” that keep our lights on, our homes warm and our businesses running.
    • All four of Great Britain’s gas distribution networks (Cadent, Wales & West Utilities, and Northern Gas Networks and SGN) have signed the ENA Biomethane Connections Charter.
  • Biomethane gas is created by taking food waste, sewage and energy crops to produce gas through anaerobic digestion. It can be used by being injected into the gas grid or by being used to power heavy vehicles such as HGVs and buses.
  • No changes need to be made to gas pipes to accommodate the expansion of biomethane.
  • Research by gas distribution network operator Cadent found that renewable gases could provide enough energy to heat a third of the UK’s homes.
    • ENA’s Gas Network Innovation Strategy sets out the work that gas distribution networks are doing to promote energy innovation. The Strategy can be found online here.
  • For more information, contact:

Ed Gill

UK & European Head of Press and Public Affairs

Energy Networks Association

T: +44 (0) 20 7706 5157

M: +44 (0) 7725 372 758                                        

W: www.energynetworks.org

 

 

Ed Gill

UK & European Head of Press and Public Affairs

Energy Networks Association

T: +44 (0) 20 7706 5157

M: +44 (0) 7725 372 758                                       

W: www.energynetworks.org

 

          

 

The Voice of the Networks