Methane Gas Could Power UK Homes
Methane gas taken from feces could heat half the homes in the United Kingdom, says a report from the country’s National Grid.
It states that pulling the gas from waste will help reduce carbon emissions, recovering energy security and aiding the deficiency of landfills.
The report thinks that biogas could hit two thirds of the UK’s renewable energy targets by 2020. Critics think that the report is too hopeful and is trying to take advantage of the National Grid’s power over the UK’s gas lines.
This report will add fuel to the fiery debate over heat, which contributes 47% to the UK’s carbon emissions. In the near future, the government will launch a discussion over heat policy.
Renewable gases are obtained now by a process called anaerobic digestion, or by heating waste to extract the gas. The report thinks that both of these procedures generate less pollution than other processes.
Renewable gas is at this time used to create electricity. However, the report insists that this is hardly as efficient as utilizing the existing gas grid.
The report notes that there is a lack of insuperable technical or safety barriers to transporting the gas, and the technology used in other countries.
"As we look forward to 2050," the report says," it is important to recognize that delivering 80% emissions reductions is going to require a very sizeable contribution from heat which only renewable gas is able to deliver without significant inconvenience to consumers and other residents of the UK."
National Grid states that the best part of renewable gas is that it uses the current infrastructure. Contending technologies like joined heat and power, or CHP, needs new pipes to distribute the heat.
The report says instead of transporting wood chips by lorry to be burned in CHP plants it would be more efficient to gasify the wood chips and then transport the gas.
Renewable gas is not as strong as gas produced from fossil fuel but the report thinks that consumers may be remunerated in a lower bill. Critics note that dependence on renewable gas traps the UK into a high-waste economy when the government wants citizens to waste less.
Gas heating also creates less elasticity than electric heating where the heat is individually programmed room to room. Methane leaks are also very dangerous. The leaks are 20 times stronger than CO2.
Graham Meeks from the Combined Heat and Power Association said: "Renewable gas has an important role to play in the decarburization of the economy, but on its own it is no panacea. The low carbon agenda needs another silver bullet like a hole in the head.
"Any suggestion that this could displace the need for technologies such as district heating is extremely unhelpful. In fact district heating and CHP are the perfect complement to renewable gas production."
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