Ecotricity began with a mission to replace electricity made by burning fossil fuels with green energy. We succeeded and now we aim to replace fossil fuel natural gas with sustainable green gas.
So, we’ve started building green gas mills and our first one will be up and running soon.
Unlike other forms of green gas which often use animal waste, ours is made ethically and sustainably from grass cuttings. The grass is broken down by anaerobic digestion in vats, producing biomethane. This is then captured and fed into the grid.
When the gas burns, carbon will go into the atmosphere, but it will be reabsorbed when the grass grows back creating a sustainable natural cycle. We estimate that if we grow grass on all the marginal land in Britain, we’ll be able to make enough green gas to supply the entire country.
Back in 2016 we published this ground breaking report into the potential of powering Britain with green gas. We worked out how much the country would need, and how this could bring thousands of jobs to the green economy. Five years on, we are working on updating this report.
Carbon neutralised green gas
Currently, about 1% of the gas we supply comes from other green gas mills, and the rest is natural gas. The residual carbon emissions from our fossil fuel gas are offset by investing in carbon reduction schemes around the world to carbon neutralise all the gas we supply.
Carbon offsetting isn’t ideal – we see it as an interim solution until we can ramp up production of our sustainable green gas.
Carbon reduction projects
The carbon reduction projects we support have a range of environmental and community benefits. They include:
Dagachu Hydropower Plant, Bhutan
Valdivia Biomass Power Plant, Chile
Maharashtra Biomass Power Generation Project, India
Our green gas mills
Find out more about the green gas mills we're building with the aim of transforming Britain's gas grid for good...
The construction of our first green gas mill will begin in Reading in 2021. Locally harvested grass and straw will be broken down through a process of anaerobic digestion, producing sustainable biomethane. This will be supplied to the UK’s gas grid and then on to Ecotricity gas customers. Current plans are for the mill at Reading to produce enough green gas to supply 4,000 homes*, saving up to 4,000 tonnes of of carbon dioxide annually**.
*Based on OFGEM medium household consumption for 2020.
**Estimated likely carbon saving based on plant operating parameters of 82g per kWh saved compared to fossil fuel natural gas.