Cow Power to Assist in Climate Change Battle
Biomethane was connected to the Gas National Transmission System (NTS) at the end of July - using manure produced by cows reared at a Cambridgeshire farm.
The beef and dairy cattle industry is among the top contributors to global greenhouse gases, with the average bovine belching out between 250 and 500 litres of methane per day. Although estimates vary, some scientists believe that livestock produces up to 14% of all greenhouse emissions from human activities.
However, a company named Biocow is to give back to the environment by using its Murrow Anaerobic Digestion Plant to produce renewable gas from broken-down cow manure and straw.
The process involves sealing the waste in tanks without oxygen, where it is broken down by naturally occurring micro-organisms into biomethane.
Biocow has set itself a target of producing enough biomethane to power an average of ten households every hour.
A Smart Moo-ve for the Environment - and Farmers too
As well as playing its role in helping the country on its UK’s path to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, biomethane production could also hand struggling farmers a new revenue source through selling animal waste to energy producers.
Ian Radley, Head of Gas Systems Operations at National Grid said: “Alongside hydrogen, biomethane will play a critical role in the journey to Britain achieving net-zero. We’ve collaborated closely with Biocow on this innovative project to ensure we met their needs and ultimately successfully connected their site to the National Transmission System; supporting the transition to a low carbon economy and paving the way for similar projects in the future.”
Meanwhile, Biocow Managing Director, Chris Waters, said: “This joint project with National Grid is a very important first step in Biocow’s keen commitment to continue pioneering new and innovative ways to inject green gas into the grid. We look forward to continued collaboration with National Grid in the future as we continue to develop our site at Murrow.”
Green Alternatives Often Cheaper than Fossil Fuels
Although biomethane has been touted as a green alternative for some years now, only a handful of energy providers actually offer a 100% green gas option, as the technology is still in its early stages of development. Instead, the majority of ‘green gas’ tariffs offer a mixture of biomethane and carbon-offset natural gas.
Here at Selectra, we recommend switching to a green tariff to help in the fight against climate change. It’s a common misconception that customers are expected to pay more for clean energy, but the truth is that renewable tariffs are often similarly priced or even cheaper than plans supplied exclusively by fossil fuels such as coal.