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  • Green gas power for Bristol homes

    Thousands of homes in Bristol are being powered by gas produced from their own waste. 

    Green gas power for Bristol homes

    More than 3,000 properties in Avonmouth and Shirehampton are using biomethane, which is produced from renewable sources from their local sewage treatment works.

    Green gas power for Bristol homes map

    The gas is generated through the treatment of sewage and food waste at Bristol sewage treatment works in Avonmouth, run by GENeco, a subsidiary of Wessex Water.

    Every year GENeco treats around 75 million cubic metres of sewage waste as well as 35,000 tonnes of inedible food waste, collected from households, supermarkets and food manufacturers, which produces the gas that gets injected into Wales & West Utilities' local gas network. 

    Through a natural process, known as anaerobic digestion, micro-organisms break down the waste to produce a methane-rich gas.  GENeco's gas to grid plant then converts it into biomethane, which can be used as a direct substitute for natural gas. 

    To date GENeco's gas to grid plant has injected more than 7.5 million cubic metres of biomethane into the gas network.

    Mohammed Saddiq, GENeco's managing director, said: "By treating sewage and food that's unfit for human consumption, we're able to produce enough biomethane to provide a significant supply of gas to the national gas network.

    "Biomethane represents a sustainable and renewably-sourced alternative to fossil fuels. Our plant is providing carbon savings of around 13,000 tonnes CO2e per year and is a real success story for Avonmouth and Shirehampton residents.

    "Powering people's homes using waste from the local area is a real-life example of the circular economy in action."

    Data from Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service that serves the south-west of England and Wales, shows that biomethane supply was the dominant gas source for the area during much of 2015. 

    Chris Clarke, Wales & West Utilities Director of Asset Management and HS&E, added: "We are always trying to prepare our business for the future and to play our part in addressing the challenges of providing a reliable energy supply to our customers that is affordable and environmentally friendly. Adding green gases like biomethane is a key part of that, and we're pleased to be working alongside GENeco."

    GENeco previously demonstrated how biomethane could also be used as a sustainable fuel by launching the Bio-Bus, the UK's first ever bus powered on sewage and food waste.

    The bus attracted worldwide interest with its eye-catching design that showcased the fun side of how the gas is produced.

    Editor's notes

    Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, serves the south west of England and Wales. The company also has a multi-million pound, 30-year gas pipe investment programme which began in 2002. Old metal pipes within 30 metres of buildings are being replaced with new long-lasting plastic pipes with a lifespan of more than 80 years, to make sure homes and businesses continue to receive a safe and reliable gas supply now and in the future.

  • Next generation fuel

    Biomethane generated by waste can be used as a substitute for natural gas in homes and in vehicles. It's the fuel of the future, but it's here now.

    Find out more