How green gas works
We've spent a lot of time over the last couple of years looking into the best way to supply green gas to our customers through the National Grid.
In 2015 we announced that we were to pursue a new way of generating gas in Britain – from grass.
Step one – Source the fuel
Theoretically, we could produce 97% of domestic gas demand from grass by 2035. So there is vast potential for green gas to make a big contribution in reducing carbon emissions and building a more energy independent Britain.
We can harvest naturally occurring grasses from marginal grazing and lower quality arable farmland, increasing biodiversity and providing environmental benefits at the same time.
Sourcing grass from marginal land previously used for grazing livestock, we can encourage wild-flowers to grow in the process.
We’ll also be growing a grass break-crop on lower quality arable land that farmers currently use to grow feed crops for livestock. Done in rotation every few years, this will actually improve the quality of the soil and bring it back into food production, with the addition of a natural fertiliser.
Step two – Take it to a green gasmill
With the grass providing a consistent source of organic material, we’ll be able to produce a high quality green gas – using a process called Anaerobic Digestion (AD). This proven technology allows micro-organisms to break down biodegradable material in an oxygen-free environment.
The outputs are simply green gas and an excellent natural fertiliser, which can be returned to farmers' fields, improving the soil quality and reducing the need for harmful synthetic fertilisers that are bad for the environment.
Step three – Into the National Gas Grid
Once the gas has been made, it’s "scrubbed" (mostly, that means having some CO2 removed) and this bio-methane is pumped directly into the National Gas Grid, mixing with the fossil fuel methane but reducing the overall carbon impact of the gas in the grid.
From there, it can be used to cook and heat in exactly the same way as fossil fuel gas but without the environmental impact. It’s really that simple.
Greening gas now…
We’re currently working hard to turn your energy bills into new green gasmills.
We announced plans for our first green gasmills in 2015, and were granted planning permission to build our first at Sparsholt College in Hampshire in October 2016. We’ll be announcing more plans soon.
We were the first energy company in Britain to supply green gas. It’s 12% green now, and that percentage will grow as we start to build our own grass-fed green gasmills.
In the meantime, we promise never to source gas from fracking, not now or ever.
Reasons to switch
Report by National Grid
"...renewable gas could meet up to 50% of UK residential gas demand. Produced mainly via a process of anaerobic digestion (AD) or thermal gasification of the UK’s biodegradeable waste, renewable gas represents a readily implementable solution for delivering renewable heat to homes in the UK."
Report by National Grid, January 2009