Ecotricity recently released a report – Green Gasmills: The Opportunity for Britain – which shows that by 2035, green gas from grass could provide all of the gas needs for 97% of Britain’s homes, pump £7.5 billion annually into the economy, and create a new industry with up to 150,000 jobs. Green gas made this way is virtually carbon neutral, so could play a significant role in Britain meeting its climate targets, and creates new habitats for wildlife on an unprecedented scale. And the green gas revolution is already underway. Ecotricity has recently received permission to build its prototype ‘Green Gasmill’ at Sparsholt College in Hampshire, the first of its kind in Britain. As North Sea reserves run out, the big question is where we’re going to get our gas from next. The government thinks fracking is the answer, but this report shows that we have a better option. Through our research, we’ve found that using grass is a better alternative, and has none of the drawbacks of energy crops, food waste or fracking – in fact, it has no drawbacks at all. Grass can yield twice as much gas per tonne of feedstock than food waste, and the gas is cleaner and significantly easier to upgrade to grid quality. Grass can be sourced from permanent pasture or grown as a break crop on food producing land. It doesn’t need to compete with food grown for human consumption, and it’s not based on intensive farming or a monoculture either. It needs no artificial fertilisers or pesticides – and in the process of growing it, we can create wildlife habitats, making room for nature. Those new habitats are desperately needed in Britain. Grass for gas also offers the potential for farmers to diversify from raising animals for human consumption – an industry that is not only in decline in Britain, and economically very challenging, but one that produces a significant amount of the world’s climate change gases.
Zero Carbonista 27th April 2017 read more »