UK’s liquid gas sector targets 100% biofuel by 2040

Almost two million UK homes are heated using LNG

Published today (3 July), Liquid Gas UK’s new framework lays out plans to help LPG companies shift to bioLPG, which produces up to 90% fewer carbon emissions throughout its lifecycle than regular LPG.

LPG is currently used to heat almost two million off-grid homes across the UK and is also used widely by mobile and rural businesses.

BioLPG is already available on the UK market, but not in the quantities needed to facilitate an industry-wide transition, Liquid Gas UK claims. In order to speed up a rollout, it is urging the Government to remove the fuel cost element from the methodology of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) – an element it claims has historically favoured cheaper, carbon-intensive fuels such as oil.

The framework also stresses that a shift to bioLNG could help to create a more circular economy for food, as it can be chemically produced using feedstocks such as organic waste, waste sugar, glycerol or vegetable oils.

Liquid Gas UK’s chief executive George Webb said bioLPG could help the Government adopt a “mixed technology approach” to meeting net-zero by 2050 in which “policymakers recognise that a one-size-fits-all approach for off-grid energy will not work’”.

“As a drop-in fuel with no expensive changes to heating systems required, bioLPG is an affordable and non-intrusive option for homes and businesses to reduce their carbon footprint,” Webb said.

“There are millions of homes across the UK that, unless undergoing a major redevelopment, a transition to electrified heating solutions is not affordable. These alternative options are also unlikely to consistently provide the levels of heating demanded by users.”

The publication of Liquid Gas UK’s framework comes shortly after the Renewable Energy Association (REA) claimed that upping the deployment of bioenergy renewable sources by more than 10% would enable the UK to affordably meet future carbon budgets while also overcoming an “impending nuclear gap”.

And, on a global scale, a new report this week from the World Biogas Association (WBA) concluded that biogas could reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 10-13% by 2050.

The hot topic

Heating and hot water account for around 15% of the UK’s overall carbon footprint, with the nation currently off-track to meet a key target of ensuring 12% of heat is generated using renewables by 2020. 

The Government has previously run a number of clean heat initiatives, including a £320m package of grants and loans for businesses, hospitals, schools and local authorities with a heat network of two or more buildings and an Energy Systems Catapult centre to assist small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) with decarbonising their heat systems.

However, the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) recommendations to Government on meeting net-zero by 2050 state that “serious plans” for new legislative frameworks and financial incentives for low-carbon heat will need to be developed.

Sarah George

Comments (2)

  1. Ken Dunstan says:

    It looks hopeful; however, nobody seems prepared to name the "various oils" used as feedstock. Granted that BioLPG will reduce CO2 emissions by its users, does it contain palm oil? The palm oil industry is responsible for vast and continuing deforestation in Indonesia and elsewhere. The gains from bio LPG would be nullified by the loss of carbon sinks in rain forests, not to mention the possible extinction of species like the Orang-Utan

  2. Becky Hart says:

    Interesting article although it seems like the author is not aware of the difference between LPG (liquefied petroleum gas, mainly propane) and LNG (liquefied natural gas, i.e. methane). LNG is not used to heat 2 million homes, as the caption under an LNG train states…

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