Information Sheet 47: The role of biogas in transition to low carbon economy

Processing residual waste can lead to a significant reduction in GHGs

Bioenergy Association has updated previous analysis and the new work shows that anaerobic digestion has the potential to eliminate 1,811 kt CO2-e pa of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This all can be achieved using well-established technology and existing waste materials with many other associated environmental and socio-economic benefits. The biogas can be used to generate electricity, produce heat, used as a vehicle fuel and a feedstock for manufacture of bio-based materials, further offsetting greenhouse gas emissions by substituting carbon-intensive fuels and resources. This is 4.6PJ of energy.

To achieve this greenhouse gas reduction requires rethinking how we treat waste has to be based on three principles;

  • A national policy of zero organic waste to landfill by 2040.
  • Minimise, recycle and reuse as much waste as economically possible.
  • Aim to extract maximum value from waste by processing residual waste into compost, fertiliser and energy.

[this is an update and supersedes Information Sheet 31]

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