UK Shale Gas a ‘Lucky’ Solution to Reduce Transport-Related Emissions

In the December 2012 issue of Energy World (published by Energy Institute), John Baldwin, MD of CNG Services in the United Kingdom, expressed his thoughts about the future of natural gas in the UK, from which the following has been largely drawn.

Gas demand in the UK has been primarily met by indigenous gas production from the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) but, in recent years, UKCS production has been declining and imports have been rising to meet demand. The demand for gas energy is likely to increase as other solutions will not have sufficient generation capacity. “Therefore, electricity will be generated by a small amount of nuclear, perhaps some coal with carbon capture and storage (CCS) and wind energy, with gas as the predominant supply.” Baldwin says gas alone has the capacity to meet demand on a windless day.

Biogas from anaerobic digestion makes a contribution but is limited in supply to around 10% of domestic customer gas demand.

In the face of transport-generated greenhouse gas emissions (20% of total UK emissions), the government supports the introduction of electric vehicles (EVs), but the shortfall in renewable energy generation means “it is likely that EVs will be adding to carbon dioxide emissions compared to petrol hybrid or low emission diesel cars.” Read more »

Baltic Biogas Project in Estonia

The Baltic Biogas project commenced in 2009 and ended 2012. The outcomes and recommendations of the project about how to start using biogas as transport fuel are recorded on the project website at balticbiogasbus.eu/web/. Lennart Hallgren, Project Manager, concludes that biogas buses are the best choice for urban public transport to lower emissions of green house gases and improve inner city air quality while creating energy autonomy and more sustainable jobs. Biogas will also significantly contribute to reaching the EU 2020 targets. Read more »