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Reference Number NIA_NGGD0093
Title Assessment of Bioenergy Resource Potential for UK Biomethane
Status Completed
Energy Categories Renewable Energy Sources(Bio-Energy, Applications for heat and electricity) 100%;
Research Types Applied Research and Development 100%
Science and Technology Fields BIOLOGICAL AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES (Biological Sciences) 50%;
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences) 50%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Project Contact
No email address given
Cadent Gas
Award Type Network Innovation Allowance
Funding Source Ofgem
Start Date 01 February 2017
End Date 01 July 2017
Duration 5 months
Total Grant Value £48,000
Industrial Sectors Technical Consultancy
Region London
Programme Network Innovation Allowance
Investigators Principal Investigator Project Contact , Cadent Gas (100.000%)
Web Site
Objectives Critically appraise and update the estimates for each UK-derived biomass feedstock presented in the aforementioned CCC study; andProduce a forecast of the total sustainable primary bioenergy (and therefore the TWhpa of renewable gas) which will be available from UK-derived feedstock through to 2050. Produce a sensitivity analysis with a clear central scenario to be produced for both waste and non-waste feedstocks. To provide an independent report to provide to policy and other stakeholders which demonstrates the volume potential for renewable gas to 2050. The key successful outcome for this work will be a report which is a robust, independent and up to date assessment of UK bioenergy resource and therefore biomethane potential to inform key stakeholders in the development of policy relating to low carbon heat. The delivered report must meet the core objectives laid out above.
Abstract The UK has recently committed to its fifth Carbon Budget as part of its ambitious carbon reduction plan. Heat contributes a third of the UK’s carbon emissions. However, the Committee for Climate Change has highlighted that whilst there has been progress in decarbonising the power sector, there has been "almost no progress in the rest of the economy", citing specifically the slow up take of low carbon heat. The Carbon Plan identifies that by 2030 there is a requirement for between 83-165TWh of low carbon heat per annum. In 2015 the combined domestic and non-domestic RHI delivered less than 4. 5TWh. Therefore, a step change in low carbon heat is required. A number of solutions to this problem have been proposed including electrification through heat pumps, biomass boiler and heat networks. All of these will play a part, but there are two significant barriers: (a) heat demand is highly variable, which places particular challenges and costs on such low carbon solutions, and (b) they require that the consumer makes substantial changes to their own heating system, which represents a significant barrier to adoption as demonstrated by the NIA funded Bridgend study by WWU in 2015. Renewable gas cost-effectively capitalises on existing gas distribution assets which are designed to deliver peak heat, and importantly means that customers do not require disruptive and expensive changes in their homes. Biomethane can be produced from both Anaerobic Digestion, as well as thermal means. Production of BioSNG production from waste is being demonstrated in Swindon under NICNGGD02 and also from pure biomass by Gobigas and Engie in Sweden and Holland respectively. BioSNG substantially increases the volume and types of feedstock which can be converted to renewable gas compared with AD, which means that renewable gas has the potential to make a significant contribution towards UK heat demandNational Grid’s Future of Gas evaluation of renewable gas potential of 100TWh is based on the volume of UK sustainable biomass feedstocks available in the UK as assessed by the Committee for Climate Change (CCC) Bioenergy Report (2011). This report highlighted that assumptions relating to lifecycle emissions and land use constraints are critical considerations in determining how much energy might be derived from biomass sourced from the UK. It also emphasised other sustainability factors including tensions between food and bioenergy production alongside consideration of the availability of waste feedstocks. Given the very current focus on understanding the decarbonisation options for the gas network in policy terms, it is important to produce an up to date assessment of the biomass potential from these sources in order to underpin and reassess the renewable gas potential. This is critically important as it is a key factor in determining policy options for decarbonised heat. This needs to review and update the assessment, recognising current waste and sustainability policy positions where understanding has developed significantly over the last 6 years, as well as seek to address some of the uncertainties in the assessment of waste arisings. There are very different market drivers and constraints which determine the availability of wastes and non-waste forms of biomass. Consequently, the work will require two sets of subcontracted specialists working alongside each other. However, the main output from the work will be a single report.The partners will undertake a tender process to select appropriate specialist contractors to undertake the work to deliver the quality output and deliver value for money as well as provide an independent assessment. Primarily the report will be divided into waste feedstocks and non-waste feedstocksNote : Project Documents may be available via the ENA Smarter Networks Portal using the Website link above
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 10/07/18