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Producing Low Carbon Gas- Future Gas Series part 2


Of all the sectors in the UK, decarbonising heat remains one of the most challenging. Heat used for industrial, domestic and commercial purposes generates around a third of all UK carbon emissions, 70% of which is due to burning natural gas. In order to meet our legally binding national climate change targets, unabated natural gas use for heat must be phased out. Low carbon gas - including hydrogen and biogases - is one option to replace it. The Future Gas Series examines the opportunities and challenges associated with using low carbon gas to help decarbonise the UK economy.

This is the second report in the three-part Future Gas Series. Part 1: Next Steps for the Gas Grid explored the potential to decarbonise the existing gas grid. The report, Part 2: the Production of Low Carbon Gas, focuses on the issues related to the production of low carbon gas. It considers the different production technologies, the potential scale of deployment of each method, and the potential feedstocks. It also discusses issues related to bulk transport and storage of gas. Put together from expert evidence from across industry and academia, it provides a balanced guide for policy makers in this area. It was a co-chaired by James Heappey MP (Conservative), Alan Whitehead MP (Labour) and Alistair Carmichael MP (SNP).

Carbon Connect suggests that biogases- such as biomethane and bioSNG- provide low regrets opportunities in the near term to provide low carbon heat and could also potentially make use of waste that would otherwise go to landfill.  However, they require further support to allow them to continue contributing to decarbonising the UK economy. Hydrogen could provide huge decarbonisation opportunities and has applications across the energy system, from putting hydrogen in the gas grid to be burnt for heat in homes, to hydrogen buses and trains. However, to realise this potential, a market for hydrogen must be built up. This should incentivise business to invest in hydrogen technologies, reward those who use hydrogen, and build up hydrogen infrastructure.

Funding source: IGEM, National Grid
Related subjects: Policy & Socio-Economics
Countries: United Kingdom

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