LPG industry aims for 100% transition to bioLPG by 2040
Liquid Gas UK, the newly re-branded trade association representing the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) industry in the UK has launched its new vision; laying the marker for the industry to transition to 100% bioLPG by 2040.
Already available on the market today, bioLPG offers higher levels of reduction in CO2 compared to existing LPG, with the industry outlining its plans to decarbonise. With up to 90% reduction in carbon emissions, bioLPG represents a cleaner energy future for the almost two million off-grid homes in the UK, as well as the thousands of businesses from mobile caterers to rural manufacturers, B&Bs and farms that are reliant on off-grid fuel sources.
In its current form, LPG offers a low carbon option for off-grid energy when compared to coal and oil by reducing CO2 emissions by 33% and 12% respectively. Today’s vision outlined by Liquid Gas UK sets out how LPG can act as a key transition fuel in the short term, as the industry proactively reduces emissions even further with the introduction and scale up of bioLPG, also known as biopropane.
George Webb, Chief Executive, Liquid Gas UK commented: “LPG offers significant reductions in carbon emissions, and in our vision outlined today, the future for off-grid energy is looking cleaner and greener. The technology already exists for bioLPG to play a major role in the future energy mix of the UK. As a drop-in fuel with no expensive changes to heating systems required, bioLPG is an affordable and non-intrusive option for homes and businesses to reduce their carbon footprint.
“There are millions of homes across the UK that, unless undergoing a major redevelopment, a transition to electrified heating solutions (ground source heat pumps or air source heat pumps) is not affordable. These alternative options are also unlikely to consistently provide the levels of heating demanded by users. It is important that policy makers recognise a ‘one size fits all’ approach for off-grid energy will not work. Different solutions will be required for different types of buildings across the UK. As part of a mixed technology approach to decarbonisation, bioLPG can support the UK Government and Devolved Administrations to achieve Net Zero.”
BioLPG is chemically indistinct from LPG and can be dropped into existing equipment and appliances, making it an easy switch for people without inflicting any costs. The fuel can also be blended with normal LPG, enabling a phased and secure transition to 100% bioLPG.
Production of bioLPG can be undertaken in a number of ways, by applying a variety of thermal or chemical processes on different feedstocks such as vegetable oils, glycerol, sugar and waste.
A fairer system for all
Also outlined in its vision, Liquid Gas UK calls on the UK Government to remove the fuel cost element from the methodology of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs). Currently, EPC ratings are positioned as a measure of energy efficiency but in reality are a measure of energy cost per m2. As a result the current system favours cheaper, carbon intensive fuels such as oil.
Webb explains in more detail: “Under the current system, two identical properties with the same building standards will receive different EPC ratings depending on the fuel type and heating system. Despite creating more carbon emissions, an oil boiler will receive a better rating than LPG.
“The unintended consequence of this is that EPCs are more likely to encourage off-grid properties to choose a higher carbon heating solution, rather than invest in a more energy efficient system. This is the exact opposite to what policy makers want to happen. In order to see real improvements in energy efficiency, policy makers must address the methodology and ensure that it doesn’t penalise rural communities. The need for greater equity in the methodology will only grow as EPCs are set to become a more important regulatory lever.”
Commenting on the re-brand of the association, Webb added: “The change to Liquid Gas UK comes at a time when we are seeing the political and economic landscape on energy and climate change ramp up. As we move away from fossil fuels to Net Zero, it is important that the LPG industry is seen as a modern and innovative industry that is taking a lead in the challenges and opportunities ahead.”
To read the 2040 Vision in full, please click here.