The Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) and the Renewable Energy Association, have claimed that renewable fuels can have a ‘central role’ in efforts to fight air pollution.
The comments come in the wake of the publication of the government’s Air Quality Plan, launched yesterday (26 July) which outlines steps to be taken to reduce emissions of Nitrogen Dioxide across the UK.
Under the plan, local authorities are expected to deliver local proposals to clean up their air within the next eight months. The government is offering funding support for changes such as retrofitting and low emission bus technology.
ADBA has highlighted the potential for Biomethane from anaerobic digestion – a process used to breakdown organic waste and crops – as a potential fuel for vehicles. The fuel has recently been used in Nottingham, where a fleet of 30 biogas buses is being rolled out for use in the city (see airqualitynews.com story).
ADBA Chief Executive Charlotte Morton said: “Local authorities reading the government’s air quality plans now have the perfect opportunity to follow the example of Nottingham City Transport and others in rolling out biomethane-fuelled municipal bus fleets, which can make huge improvements to air quality in the UK’s towns and cities.â€?
ADBA claim that in the short and medium term, biomethane “presents the only practical means of decarbonising HGVs, buses and non-road mobile machineryâ€?.
Also commenting on the government’s plan, James Court, head of policy and external affairs at the Renewable Energy Association, backed plans for an increased use of renewables in the fuel mix.
He said: “The government can also take steps to reduce carbon emissions and urban pollution today by increasing the amount of renewable biofuels in the petrol mix.
“The UK’s renewable fuel industry supports over 10,000 jobs and has attracted more than a billion pounds of investment in the UK’s renewable fuel manufacturing infrastructure, and is critical during the transition towards an electrified fleet.â€?
Mr Court emphasised that electric vehicles will be an essential part of the future energy system that can “improve air quality, decarbonise transport and optimise the UK’s energy infrastructureâ€?.
But that we need government action to use renewable energy to power electric vehicles, and ensure a “genuinely decarbonised sectorâ€?.