According to Cadentgas that operates and maintain the largest gas distribution network in the UK, biomethane has an important role to play in the pathway to Net Zero.
In its report Cadentgas notes that without biomethane, GB CO2 emissions would be significantly higher
However, Cadentgas underlines that to maximise the direct use of biomethane for decarbonisation, production needs to ramp up very quickly during the 2020s and early 2030s.
Cadentgas forecasts that in the long-term, biomethane has a role in producing negative emission blue hydrogen.
According to Cadentgas ramping up biomethane supply in the next 5 years is a key challenge as demand looks set to increase rapidly and it is important supply does not constrain the potential emission saving.
UK waste and residue derived biomethane/biogas has a total potential of 52TWh. 12 TWh of this potential has already been developed, a further 13 TWh needs to be developed by 2025, requiring a doubling of the peak build rate of biomethane sites seen in the last decade.
Between 2025 and 2030 the rate of production increase must be maintained at double the peak build rate of biomethane sites seen in the last decade, resulting in the full 52TWh available by 2030.
According to Cadentgas, report supply of biomethane peaks in 2030.
Stations converting to 100% hydrogen
Stations built along the strategic road network in the early 2020s (70 stations) will be 10 to 15 years old in this time period.
By this point the investment in land and equipment would have been paid off and the equipment is expected to require a major overhaul. At this point stations can begin being refitted to dispense CNG/LNG and hydrogen, gradually converting to 100% hydrogen.
Biomethane supply 2035-2040
In 2035 – 2040 the drop in demand for biomethane and bio-SNG from trucks initiates a major increase in station conversions.
The faster drop in demand means these stations will transition more quickly with most stations switching to 100% hydrogen in less than 5 years.
Biomethane supply 2040-2050
In 2040 – 2050 supply of biomethane begins to fall as injection options onto the network are taken away as the network converts to hydrogen.
Biomethane producers close to gas power stations with CCS or hydrogen reformation sites with CCS, feed their biomethane to these sites by truck with more remote biomethane production sites closed down.
The full study can be downloaded as pdf here: Cadentgas