The Renewable Energy Directive has fixed targets for UK. According to these targets, 15% of total energy produced must come from renewable energy sources by 2020.
In order to reach these objectives, incentives have been made available, in particular the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), for supporting heat and biomethane injection (new incentives have been available since 9 February 2015).
Image courtesy of Jimmy Balkovicius
Since 2010, the number of projects on biomethane has increased exponentially from 1 in 2010 to more than 25 in 2014. According to data and forecasts there will be more than 50 projects before 2016 and over 60 before 2017.
As for transportation, Green Gas Certificates and Funding for NGV are available.
However, there are still a number of challenges to overcome. Some of these challenges are:
- budget restraints and future tariff regression
- availability of waste feedstocks
- the use of crops still under debate
- gas grid capacity
- cost of grid connections/delays
- energy content (CV) of biomethane v grid (propane)
- Sustainability Criteria- in force 5 October 2015
- 60% GHG savings compared to GHG EU fossil heat average
- Lifecycle emissions of < 125.28kg CO2 equivalent (34.8gCO2e/MJ) of biomass heat generated
- Consignment basis – no averaging
- Waste exempt – emissions up to the process of collection
- Land criteria requirements to be introduced by April 2015
- All existing plants will have to comply
UK total gas demand now is around 800 TWh/annum. Biomethane injected by the end of 2015 will be around 2.00 TWh. The maximum potential estimated for biomethane by 2030 is around 20TWh.