Government Must Look At Biomethane Says UFU

Biomethane injection the one obvious solution to energy crisis says UFU

Biomethane injection the one obvious solution to energy crisis says UFU

The UFU maintains that biomethane as a solution to providing energy is being overlooked.

With the energy crisis continuing in Northern Ireland (NI) the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) is struggling to comprehend why the government is continuing to overlook biomethane as a solution.

If fuel prices continue to escalate, many people will be forced to choose between food and heat this winter. The UFU says biomethane gas could help ease this energy pressure. (Photo by Adams Arslan).

It is a self-sufficient green alternative to other energy sources and the introduction of a biomethane (renewable gas) injection could potentially help to drive lower heating bills.

Commenting on the matter UFU rural enterprise chair John Watt said: “It’s been reported that the UK government are considering spending £37 billion to tackle rising energy bills and increase fossil fuel production following predications that the average annual household energy bill could top £5,000 by next spring.

“This extra expenditure is due to the ongoing war in Ukraine driving up the cost of oil and gas, creating growing concerns locally about energy security.

“However, government are dismissing an alternative, green energy solution that is right under their nose – biomethane.”

Biomethane can be produced through different processes, one of which is anaerobic digestion (AD). The recently published CASE report ‘Utilising Northern energy pressureIrelands’ Agriculture Sector to Decarbonise Heat’, estimated to be over 6000 GWh worth, is more than 80 percent of NI’s gas distribution network demand and has the potential to heat half a million homes.

“We’ve been very vocal over the past five years on the merits of biomethane and its many uses, including injection to the natural gas grid. We identified how the green energy source acts as a direct substitute for conventional natural gas and when injected into the gas network, provides a potential heating source which ticks many boxes.

“Biomethane can be produced at scale and distributed thanks to the modern gas network here in NI.

“Our lobbying efforts have resulted in biomethane injection being mentioned in both the Future Agriculture Policy and Energy Strategy, yet decision makers continue to drag their heels in getting this over the line.

“We want to see an increased urgency supporting us to move forward with the production and distribution of this locally produced alternative heating fuel, which has the potential to reduce heating bills and contribute to energy security in these uncertain times,” said Mr Watt.