Barker gets biogas Bug in sewage-powered car

Energy minister Greg Barker drove a car powered by human waste yesterday at the European Bioenergy Expo. The Bio-Bug VW Beetle runs on methane gas generated during the sewage treatment […]

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By Kelvin Ross

Energy minister Greg Barker drove a car powered by human waste yesterday at the European Bioenergy Expo.

The Bio-Bug VW Beetle runs on methane gas generated during the sewage treatment process and was developed by south west company GENeco.

The company claims that waste flushed down the toilets of just 70 homes in Bristol is enough to power the Bio-Bug for a year, based on an annual mileage of 10,000 miles.

Mr Barker had earlier spoken at the opening day of the Renewable Energy Association’s annual bioenergy conference, which is running in tandem with the Expo.

He said bioenergy was “the UK’s single most important renewable energy resource” because of the range of functions it can perform and added that it is expected to contribute to around half of the UK’s renewable energy targets by 2020.

Mr Barker said the government was committed to providing investors in bioenergy transparency, longevity and certainty.

REA chief executive Gaynor Hartnell said after Mr Barker’s speech that “he clearly understands the importance of bioenergy”.

“He expects its contribution to future energy needs to be massive. He also sees it operating across all scales, from applications in households and the community, right up to large scale power plant.He understands the industry has undergone a prolonged period of uncertainty, which should soon come to an end.It’s great to see that bioenergy now looks set to get the political attention it deserves.”