A new pilot program will create enough renewable gas to meet the demand of 6300 NSW homes and help chart a path for accreditation of green gas options such as biomethane and hydrogen.
The program’s first facility at Sydney’s Malabar Wastewater Treatment Plant will convert raw biogas into biomethane, which by 2022 will be available to customers through the existing grid network for use in cooking, heating and hot water.
Jointly responsible for the program are the NSW government, energy infrastructure company Jemena, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, Energy Networks Australia and the GreenPower Accreditation Program.
The purpose of the pilot is to design and test a simplified renewable gas registry, operated by GreenPower, to provide independent verification of the creation and use of renewable gas.
“We are driving the call for a national certification scheme because our customers have told us they want certainty in their ability to purchase verified and accredited zero emission gas just as is currently the case for renewable electricity,” Jemena executive general manager of energy networks Shaun Reardon said.
NSW energy minister Matt Kean explained unlocking a renewable gas market would help the industrial and manufacturing sectors decarbonise by giving them more clean energy options.
“Replacing natural gas with hydrogen or biomethane can help NSW industries meet their net zero emissions targets, putting them ahead of the pack in low carbon global Economy,” Mr Kean said.
Australia has been left behind both by Europe and the US in terms of biogas, despite estimates the biofuels industry could contribute over 250,000 jobs to the country and dramatically reduce CO2 emissions.
Chair of the National GreenPower Steering Group, Tim Stock described the Malabar project as a key step in the development of a voluntary market for renewable gas.
“It will allow consumers to achieve emissions reductions where they cannot switch to renewable electricity,” Mr Stock said.
“This project aligns with our Net Zero Plan to drive a clean industrial revolution and deliver affordable energy options to consumers while helping our State achieve net zero emissions by 2050.”