Britain’s gas grid companies are set to help deliver a biomethane boost today, as Energy Networks Association’s Gas Goes Green Customer Forum meets for the first time.
The Forum will bring together all five of Britain’s gas networks with gas producers and leading representatives of the biomethane industry, including the Association of Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA), and the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA), to agree as a community how they can speed up and simplify the way new sources of green gas connect to Britain’s world leading gas networks.
Energy Networks Association’s Gas Goes Green programme is forecasting that up to a third of Britain’s gas supplies will be sourced from biomethane by 2050 with it working in partnership with hydrogen to replace natural gas, including in those areas of the country where hydrogen production might be more difficult. ADBA estimates that the anaerobic digestion sector could reach its full potential for biomethane production by as soon as 2030.
The Gas Goes Green Customer Forum will review and make changes to the processes that biomethane producers use to connect to the grid, the commercial arrangements needed to do so and the standards they have to follow, to ensure they are simplified and standardised across the country. These changes will be delivered through a Connections Action Plan, with updates provided through the Forum. The Forum will also identify and remove any barriers, share best practice, enable other efficiencies and improvements, and respond to industry developments.
Specifically, it will:
- Give customers, stakeholders and network companies the opportunity to present issues and challenges, for discussion by the Forums to voice and record industry feedback.
- Establish, maintain and develop the Connections Standard Methodology (CSM) which would set out how each gas network around the country undertakes the connection, commissioning, maintenance, and operation for gas to grid distributed gas projects.
- The networks will establish, maintain and review an Action Plan for all the entry improvement initiatives including changes to the CSM, with additions to the Action Plan being made in response to issues raised by customers and stakeholders.
- Address the need for any updates on wider industry developments impacting gas producers and stakeholders.
Chris Train, ENA’s Gas Goes Green champion, says:
“With so much excitement about hydrogen at the moment, it’s important not to forget the vital role that biomethane has to play. Not only can it deliver a lot of the energy we all need, but it can do so without our households and businesses needing to change the appliances they rely upon whilst boosting local supply chains in the process.
“The new Gas Goes Green Customer Forum is a signal from Britain’s gas network companies that they are serious about scaling up the role that biomethane has to play in delivering the world’s first zero carbon gas grid here in the UK.”
Charlotte Morton, ADBA Chief Executive, says:
"As we in the industry know, biomethane has huge potential to cut emissions today and in the hardest to decarbonise sectors such as transport and heating. However, many outside of the industry are still unaware in particular that biomethane is a technology already in production and capable of scaling up fast now, and therefore the only option for decarbonising how we heat our homes available today.
“Moreover, it does so using the existing gas network infrastructure and most importantly, without the need for households to replace their gas boilers. In the future, as the technology challenges to hydrogen are overcome, biomethane will also be able to support the production of green hydrogen. This forum is a really important step towards facilitating easier grid connections for producers, which in turn will help to put more green gas into the grid to heat those homes, as well as provide low and in many cases negative carbon fuel for transport."
Kiara Zennaro, Head of Biogas at the Association of Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA), says:
"The REA is highly supportive of this initiative and is delighted to join the forum on behalf of its members.
“Collaboration between gas networks and biomethane producers is absolutely key to overcoming barriers to connecting more green gas projects to the network. We need to simplify connections, ensure consistency across the country and lower costs. This will boost the volumes of green gas injected into the network, delivering immediate GHG savings and making deep inroads into greenhouse gas emissions.”
About Energy Networks Association
Energy Networks Association (ENA) is the industry body representing the companies which operate the electricity wires, gas pipes and energy system in the UK and Ireland.
ENA helps its members meet the challenge of delivering electricity and gas to communities across the UK and Ireland safely, sustainably and reliably.
Its members include every major electricity and gas network operator in the UK and Ireland, independent operators, National Grid ESO which operates the electricity system in Great Britain and National Grid Gas which operates the gas system in Great Britain. Its affiliate membership also includes companies with an interest in energy, including Heathrow Airport and Network Rail.
What are energy network operators?
Energy network operators manage and maintain the wires, pipes and other infrastructure which delivers electricity and gas to your home, business and community. They are private companies which are regulated by Ofgem and employ around 45,000 people in the UK and Ireland. They are represented by their industry body, Energy Networks Association (that's us).