The government will outline plans later this year to inject more green gas into the grid, Philip Hammond has pledged.
The chancellor of the exchequer made the commitment while unveiling a wider package of measures to boost sustainability in today’s (13 March) spring statement.
A document explaining the measures says: “To meet our climate targets, we need to reduce our dependence on burning natural gas to heat our homes. The government will consult on the appropriate mechanism to deliver this commitment later this year.”
David Smith, chief executive of Energy Networks Association, welcomed the government’s move to decarbonise the gas grid.
He said: “Britain’s gas networks provide the public with large quantities of energy to heat their homes at the times when they need it the most, so it’s vital that we continue to decarbonise the gas we all use so we can continue to meet that need while meeting our climate change obligations.
“This is a solution that will help to reduce carbon emissions and keep energy bills down for the public and avoid more disruptive changes to heating systems. Gas network companies have been leading the way in developing the technology we need to start making this transformation and will continue to make sure that homes and businesses are able to access the energy they need quickly and reliably throughout the year.”
The move was also “strongly” backed by Charlotte Morton, chief executive of the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association.
She said: “The UK’s anaerobic digestion industry stands ready to produce this green gas from the millions of tonnes of organic wastes currently going to incineration or landfill or being left to rot – but the industry needs a favourable policy environment from government to help it to deliver this.
“While green gas has been the success story of the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive, funding for this is currently due to run out within the next two years. It’s therefore vital that the promised consultation includes a robust support mechanism for the production of green gas into and beyond the 2020s.
“We therefore hope that this year’s spending review will confirm the government’s plans for supporting green gas production into the 2020s and funding for all English local authorities to roll out universal food waste collections.”