The UK liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) industry has unveiled a new industry-wide target to transition to 100% biofuel by 2040.
The target was announced by the industry’s leading trade body UKLPG, which has now rebranded itself Liquid Gas UK to indicate how the liquid gas industry can support the UK’s wider transition to a net zero economy.
Publishing its vision for 2040, the trade organisation said the change comes at a time of a ‘ramp up’ of the political and economic landscape on the issues of energy and climate change.
Commenting on the re-brand, George Webb, chief executive of Liquid Gas UK, said: ‘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.’
Liquid petroleum gas – like propane or butane – is already viewed as a relatively low carbon alternative to fossil fuels and is commonly used as an off-grid fuel source.
According to Liquid Gas UK’s figures, LPG emits 33% fewer carbon emissions than coal and 12% fewer than oil, which has led the body to call it a ‘key transition fuel in the short term’.
However, with markets likely to further embrace renewable and sustainable fuels in the wake of the UK’s new 2050 net zero carbon target, the LPG industry has been prompted to further decarbonise.
Liquid Gas UK said that bioLPG – also known as biopropane – is already available on the market and offers up to 90% in carbon emissions compared to existing LPG.
The body added that proactively introducing and scaling up bioLPG promises a ‘cleaner and greener’ future for off-grid energy.
‘The technology already exists for bioLPG to play a major role in the future energy mix of the UK,’ Webb said.
‘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.’
The trade body warned that without ‘major redevelopment’, millions of UK homes will not be able to afford the transition to electrified heating solutions such as ground source heat pumps, nor will these solutions be able to provide the levels of heating demanded by consumers.
It also stressed that policymakers should avoid a ‘one size fits all’ approach to off-grid energy.
‘Different solutions will be required for different types of buildings across the UK,’ Webb concluded. ‘As part of a mixed technology approach to decarbonisation, bioLPG can support the UK government and devolved administrations to achieve net zero.’
The body has called on the government to re-think the current rating system behind Energy Performance Certificates (EPC), which they say inadvertently encourages off-grid properties to choose cheaper, carbon-intensive fuels such as oil for heating.
The body has urged policymakers to introduce ‘greater equity’ in the methodology as EPCs are set to grow in importance in the coming years.