48 new biomethane plants are set to be built in the UK, equalling an investment of ‘up to’ €455m – according to a press release by Cadent, ‘UK’s biggest’ gas network.
The announcement of the surge comes from the chief executive of the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA), Charlotte Morton, who says that this will take the UK’s total number of biomethane plants from 98 to 146 and that all plants should be operational by 2020.
A spokesperson from ADBA told Bioenergy Insight, “New biomethane projects tend to attract around £10m of investment from the private sector and the RHI, so with more than 40 new biomethane projects expected to be built on the back of the restored RHI tariffs, we are expecting up to £400m of investment to accompany these new projects.”
Four gas distribution networks (GDNs) – Cadent, SGN, Northern Gas Networks and Wales & West Utilities – will collaborate on managing the pipelines ahead of the ‘anticipated growth’.
“Individually, when the time comes, we also oversee the safe connection of these plants to our network pipes, for onward distribution of the gas to homes and businesses,” a spokesperson from Cadent told Bioenergy Insight.
The release explains that this ‘surge’ in the market is predominantly due to the tariff guarantee that was announced in May of this year as part of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) regulations.
Cadent described plant developers as ‘keen’ to take advantage of the guarantee as it would only apply to plants commissioned by 31 January 2020.
“The evidence is now pointing to fast growth for biomethane – we know there are around 50 applications for new plants going through the system,” said Tina Hawke, design manager of Cadent and chair of the Energy Networks Association’s biomethane group.
“This will provide safe, sustainable gas supplies for homes and businesses for decades to come, and help to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.”
This article was written by Joshua Heer, junior editor of Bioenergy Insight.