Green gas and the question of digestion | Letters


Your article (Energy: 1m British homes are now using green gas, 27 April) was great to read. Much is written about renewable electricity, but the truth is that the average British household consumes four kilowatt hours of gas for every one of electricity. Decarbonising our gas supply is evidently relatively difficult compared with electricity.

In the last quarter of 2018, just over half of UK electricity was derived from fossil fuels, compared with, despite the progress outlined in the article, roughly 99% for gas. Unlike our electricity grid, our gas network has a staggering capacity for storage, and the science behind green gas (biomethane) manufacture is straightforward. We just need a government with guts.
Simon Richards
Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire

Green gas is an important part of a sustainable transition. Unfortunately, in their efforts to tackle climate change, green energy providers frequently contribute to biodiversity loss and exacerbate soil degradation. Anaerobic digestion (which is used for green gas and green electricity) often relies on the use of waste from intensive animal farming, and requires feed crops, such as maize, which are produced in unsustainable arable monocultures.

Green energy companies should be much more upfront about how they source energy from anaerobic digestion. Green gas is now supplied to 1m homes, so it is more important than ever that green energy providers work together to develop a best practice approach to energy from AD, which addresses biodiversity loss, soil degradation, and farm animal welfare concerns. Genuinely sustainable AD is perfectly possible, but most of the larger green energy companies seem to dismiss it as unimportant.

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In terms of the existing market, Ecotricity is currently the only provider to guarantee that no animals are exploited in either its gas or electricity supply chains.
ffinlo Costain
Director, Farmwel

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