Monday 5th March 2018
Close on the heels of the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy announcement UKLPG launched its pathways document Gas for Off-Grid Britain to set out the role this widely available fuel can play in decarbonising heat off the gas grid.
From food and drink processors to care homes and golf courses, there are more than half a million businesses registered in rural areas, with the rural economy accounting for 24% of all registered businesses and employing more than 3.5 million people.
Many of these businesses will be located off the gas grid and facilities managers will face the challenge of finding an efficient and reliable energy source to keep their businesses running and to ensure they remain competitive. All against the backdrop of a rapidly evolving, increasingly complex and diversified energy landscape.
The Government is committed to supporting businesses to improve their energy productivity by at least 20% by 2030, so what role will LPG play?
LPG is liquefied petroleum gas. It acts in just the same way as natural gas and means businesses off the gas grid can access and operate the latest gas-powered systems and technologies whether they are connected to the grid or not. Commercial boiler manufacturers are already offering LPG systems to comply with the Energy Related Products Directive (ERP) which is designed to significantly tighten energy efficiency and reduce energy costs.
Part of the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy is to phase out the installation of high carbon forms of fossil fuel heating in new and existing businesses off the gas grid during the 2020s, starting with new build and the LPG industry is already geared up to offer an immediate low carbon solution.
LPG emits 35% less CO2 than coal, 12% less than oil and almost no black soot. With low particle emissions, low NOx (nitrogen oxide) emissions and low sulphur content, it is the lowest carbon conventional off-grid fuel, reliable and widely available, with a well-established supply infrastructure throughout the UK.
As an industry, we have been proactive in ensuring that the Government and wider stakeholders in energy policy have a clear understanding of the realities of decarbonising the off-gas grid sector.
Despite the advances in renewable and battery storage technologies, electricity alone cannot meet the heat needs of rural businesses. LPG suppliers have been working with Government, heating technology manufacturers and businesses to significantly reduce carbon.
We can replace the oldest most inefficient oil boilers immediately with clean condensing LPG boilers that reduce costs as well as carbon emissions. We are also developing plans to trial new technologies such as hybrid heat pumps with a boiler, gas absorption heat pumps and combined heat and power systems. The industry has clean and proven energy solutions available today, but is also pioneering new technologies as well as bio-LPG as part of a portfolio of long-term, low carbon LPG solutions that will support businesses off the gas grid for many years to come.
Available in bulk or in portable units, LPG is a versatile fuel flexible enough to be used for a myriad of industrial applications from space, process and water heating, metal processing, drying, food production, petrochemical production as well as powering industrial ovens, kilns and furnaces amongst others. It is also used to fuel fork lift truck fleets in warehouses, a cost-effective solution which improves air quality as well as reducing carbon emissions without the need to recharge electric units or use polluting diesel.
Focussing on the future, the LPG industry is working with partners and customers to provide practical and effective energy solutions that will deliver the decarbonisation of off-grid Britain, and the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy provides a firm framework for our activities in this area.
For facilities managers tasked with futureproofing their own organisation’s energy needs, LPG offers a reliable, clean, proven, scalable, affordable, low carbon solution, that ticks all the boxes from an efficiency, policy and commercial point of view.
The trade association for the LPG and bioLPG industry in the UK