ADBA roundtable discussion assesses future uses for biogas

Yesterday ADBA hosted a roundtable discussion in Bristol, pulling together leading experts from across the transport, C&I and utilities industries to assess the future role of biogas and biomethane in UK energy production.

When looking at the potential for biogas there are two timeframes to consider. First, there is the potential contribution of biogas to meet 2020 renewable energy targets and the third and fourth carbon budgets in the 2018-27 period. The next stage to look at is the potential for biogas to support carbon budgets beyond 2027 – leading to 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions required by 2050 compared to 1990 levels. The potential longer-term contribution of course needs to be considered in making the shorter-term policy.

In 2018-2027 the following pathways are the options available to the UK for the use of biogas and upgraded biomethane:

In the period 2030-50 the pathways in the following diagram become more relevant, under the assumption the UK follows a trajectory to meeting its 2050 objective. A range of scenarios have been developed by government and others on pathways to meeting the 2050 carbon targets (see Low Carbon Plan, National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios etc.). Many of these scenarios assume that: 

a) the electricity network will need to be completely decarbonised by 2050

b) electric vehicles will need to displace fossil-fuelled passenger and light vehicles and

c) the gas grid will need to decarbonise, through the use of biomethane and/or shrink with low carbon electricity becoming the main source of heating, alongside heat pumps.

Therefore the following pathways attempt to provide the options of how biogas can support not only a scenario in which the current energy system largely continues, but also a near completely decarbonised system.

The group agreed:

  • Consensus that the UK will need a gas grid in 2050
  • Pumping biomethane into the grid offers the route with the most potential for using it in transport. 
  • Supporting the gas-to-grid market in the short term will allow for the decarbonisation of heat and electricity, and support the medium-term decarbonisation of transport.

The group discussion highlighted that biogas/biomethane has a big role to play in the decades to come, however more work needs to be done in evaluating the various pathways.

We will be using the valuable information we received to help move the discussion on and create a future pathways position paper in the near future. In the meantime if you have any queries please do get in touch via

Posted in: News for Members, Policy updates

Tags: biomethane, RHI, biogas, will bushby, anaerobic digestion, renewable financial incentives, financial incentives, biomethane to grid