The UK’s dustbins could hold the answer to decarbonising the heat sector with affordable biogas.
That’s the suggestion from gas distribution network Cadent, formerly National Grid, which has suggested waste from the nation’s homes, farms, sewage and food could generate enough sustainable fuel to keep between seven and 15 million homes warm each year.
There are currently more than 80 biogas plants connected to Britain’s gas network, where these feedstocks are fermented to create biomethane.
The report indicates with the right support, production of the gas could grow substantially over the next 30 years and help save billions of pounds compared to relying on only electricity to heat homes and workplaces.
It suggests this could mean savings of more than £10,000 per customer between now and 2050.
In 2015, more than 15 million tonnes of waste were sent to landfill or exported to Europe. In the future this could instead be diverted to renewable gas production.
David Parkin, Cadent’s Director of Network Strategy, said: “In its Clean Growth Strategy, the government indicated that it would be exploring the potential of renewable gas and we are keen to work with them on this.
“With the right policies in place, renewable gas could play a significant role in helping the UK meet its carbon reduction targets, particularly in heat and transport, which are lagging behind electricity.”