The UK’s first “green gas mill” is set to power thousands of homes by using grass to make gas. Yes, you heard that right, gas will be produced from grass. Energy firm Ecotricity is set to build a new plant close to Reading in Berkshire.
From early next year, this new project is expected to supply gas to 4,000 homes. The UK has a heavy reliance on using fossil fuels for energy, with traditional methods of making green gas having sustainability issues. To combat this, the firm makes a breakthrough by using grass as an alternative.
By utilising 3,000 acres of farmland, the gas mill will be fed by a combination of herbs and grass grown on the plains. The energy company stated that the gas mills will not compete with food production as well as not require agricultural land.
To build the plant, an estimated £11 million will be needed, however, 30 jobs will be created and the project will help to contribute £3m to the rural economy.
In addition, a report by Imperial College London was released by Ecotricity on how much potential Britain has for utilising green gas. This report found that the nation has enough grassland not involved in food production to provide gas for all homes.
Ecotricity is one of the many UK energy suppliers that have a strong renewable energy background. To make it easier to find the providers that use renewable products, as well as see if you could save money, you can locate all the green energy suppliers here.
The Founder of Ecotricity, Dale Vince stated we have everything we need “right underneath our feet”, comparing it to the North Sea. The energy supplier founded also called out the current green energy strategy of converting UK homes to heat pumps.
By using green gas, it is “cheaper, faster and far less wasteful than a switch to heat pumps” according to Mr Vince. All homes can adopt these changes and when it comes to energy supply, it will provide a “more balanced and diverse outcome”.
Why should we use green gas?
By using green gas, we are replacing fossil fuels and helping to create a green economy, freeing us from the constraints of the global fossil fuel markets and being able to make our own gas.
In addition, there are plenty of economic advantages such as increased jobs and industries located in the UK. Around the country, existing gas boilers that are installed can still be used in a much greener way.
What is green gas powered by grass?
Green gas is made from grass material using anaerobic digestion. The gas mills will be fed with grass and herbs to harness biomethane gas that can be used to power homes across the nation.
It is a proven and efficient process that is clean and renewable as the waste can be used as fertiliser to grow more grass. Each year, the grass is cut four times, and then placed into a silage plant where it breaks down in a few months. Then, it is placed into a digester where it gives off a methane-rich gas.