Certainty for green gas industry on RHI sustainability rules

Biomethane industry committed to delivering 60% greenhouse gas savings

DECC has clarified how greenhouse gas (GHG) rules will work for biomethane plants under the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). Project developers have been pushing for clarity on these rules as they could make or break' the viability of their projects, including those already in development.

Biomethane or green gas' (produced from food waste, energy crops and agricultural and industrial residues) can be used in gas engine trucks and buses or injected into the gas grid that heats homes and businesses. It is usually produced using the anaerobic digestion process, which also produces digestate, an affordable and environmentally friendly fertiliser for UK farming.

The REA, ADBA and members of both trade associations have engaged with DECC throughout the summer to ensure that the new rules ensure 60% GHG savings from green gas, without jeopardising investments and jobs in this fast-growing industry.

REA Chief Executive Dr Nina Skorupska said:

"DECC has engaged constructively with stakeholders across the industry and shown that it supports the sustainable development of the UK green gas sector. Getting these new greenhouse gas rules finalised before the election is good news for the long-term stability of the sector. We look forward to working with DECC to further develop these rules to reflect the full environmental costs and benefits of green gas."

Compliance with these greenhouse gas rules will be mandatory for all forms of biomass heating claiming support under the RHI, not just green gas. The Government has confirmed that it hopes to have parliamentary approval before the election, with the rules coming into force next autumn. This means that fuel suppliers will have approximately a year to adjust their supply chains and learn to use the new reporting systems.

The REA and ADBA have also been engaging with DECC on proposals to amend RHI tariffs for biomethane to ensure value for money. The outcome of this review is expected in the near future.

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