Friday 31st March 2023
The Government’s Powering Up Britain Strategy, announced today has missed the opportunity to recognise the role of renewable liquid gases in the future off grid energy mix.
Although the strategy adopts positive policies, including more funding for insulating energy inefficient homes, advancing carbon capture technology and the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund, it does not yet acknowledge alternative low-carbon heating options to electrification in rural areas.
George Webb, CEO at Liquid Gas UK, the trade association for renewable liquid gases says:
“It is welcome that the Government has confirmed that the Biomass Strategy and Off Grid regulations will come later this year. As an industry we need approval from government to support future investment in renewable liquid gases to accelerate production, with the industry already investing over £260 million into renewable gases despite the continuing uncertainty.
Renewable liquid gases can be made from a variety of sources and processes, including waste, tyres, plastics and recovered Co2 and are an important alternative to the tens of thousands of homes and businesses which aren’t suitable for a heat pump.
"Alternative fuels, such as renewable liquid gases, offer a practical and affordable solution to decarbonise rural properties where heatpumps aren’t a viable option. Today’s strategy, whilst a positive step in the right direction overall says nothing about the contribution we can make to net zero” says Mr Webb.
“As an industry, we’re committed to being 100% renewable by 2040. We have a credible, evidenced pathway to reach this goal and whilst we welcome efforts to speed up climate change action, it cannot be done at the expense of rural communities who deserve a choice of low carbon heating options to reach net zero.”
Independent research shows that homeowners could be expected to pay between £15,000 - £30,000 for the installation of a heatpump, once energy efficient improvements are considered, for hard-to-treat and hard-to-heat properties*.
Mr Webb adds that Liquid Gas UK polling has found that 69% of households would be unable to afford this cost**.
“Whilst the extension of the boiler upgrade scheme is welcomed and we recognise that in many cases a heat pump will be the right option to decarbonise, we are already seeing the effects of a lack of choice meaning consumers are ripping out heat pumps which don’t work effectively in the places they are installed.”
“But we already have a ‘drop-in’ solution,” says Mr Webb. “Renewable liquid gases are available and can offer a cost-effective way for customers to achieve up to 90% carbon emissions reductions using their existing boilers and appliances.”
He adds that Liquid Gas UK looks forward to working with Government to ensure that future policy recognises renewable liquid gases as a viable and important part of the future energy mix for off-grid homes and businesses.
* 'The role of LPG and BioLPG in large rural off grid homes' — Liquid Gas UK: The trade association for the LPG and biopropane industry in the UK
** Polling was carried out by Focal Data on behalf of Liquid Gas UK. 1,012 people who live in properties not connected to the gas network were surveyed between 15th and 17th February 2023. Data was weighted based on population to ensure a representative sample.
The trade association for the LPG and bioLPG industry in the UK