Biomethane could deliver 30% of the UK’s 2030 carbon budget in hardest to decarbonise sectors, provide green heat to 6.4 million homes
- With a supportive policy environment, anaerobic digestion (AD) technology could produce 8 billion m3 biomethane/year, enough to heat 6.4 million homes, by 2030.
- This would deliver a 6% reduction in total UK greenhouse gases emissions, specifically within the hard-to-decarbonise sectors of heat, transport, waste management and agriculture, and 30% of the reduction needed by 2030 to meet our legally binding carbon budget.
- The industry would directly create 30,000 green jobs and become a leading exporter of innovation, technology and professional expertise.
- The report sets out the pathway to full deployment by 2030 and identifies policy asks to stimulate growth.
Alan Whitehead MP hosted the launch of Biomethane: the pathway to 2030, a major report by the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA), which highlights the potential for biomethane to cut emissions in the hardest to decarbonise sectors of the UK economy such as heat, transport, waste management and agriculture, and achieve the country’s Net Zero target.
Fully deployed, the biomethane industry could deliver a 6% reduction in the UK's greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 - a third of the 5th Carbon Budget target - and provide heating for 6.4 million homes. It would also create tens of thousands of jobs, boost energy and food production security, attract investment into the green economy and enhance Britain's competitiveness on the international sustainable technology market.
Unlocking this potential however requires a supportive policy environment and the report identifies the key policy asks that will enable the industry to flourish:
- immediate support for biomethane production beyond 2021
- extension of the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation beyond 2032
- funding for innovation
- establishment of resource hierarchies for all organic wastes with AD as the optimal recycling technology
- development of a renewable biofertiliser obligation
- support for local circular economy projects around food waste recycling through AD into heat and power generation
Charlotte Morton, ADBA Chief Executive, says: "Our sector has seen periods of very strong growth in the last decade as a direct result of supportive policy, but this has stalled in recent years due to the withdrawal of support. The next ten years, dubbed the climate decade, are our last chance to reverse the climate crisis. To reach its full potential by 2030 and make a real impact, the industry must grow faster than it has ever done. We therefore need robust and immediate support from government to capitalize on the sector's wide-ranging environmental and social benefits, and to unlock a commercially viable, world-class AD industry with goods, services and expertise that can be exported around the world. In the face of the climate emergency, AD is not an option, it's a necessity, and a technology that needs to be fully deployed NOW to create the healthy environment and healthy green economy that the UK needs."