Who would have thought flushing the toilet could help the country produce green energy. Well that is now the case here in the UK. Eighteen days after human waste is stored it will be returning to homes in the form of renewable gas. The first to produce the reusable gas for homes in the UK will be Centrica who is opening the flagship plant at Didcot sewage.
The Didcot facility will serve as a pilot project to demonstrate the technology and will start by supplying only 200 homes with gas. The pilot project is being funded by three entities, Thames Water, Scotia Gas Networks and British Gas.
The most promising aspect of this process is that the renewable gas is not made from only human waste. It is believed that at least 15% of all gas consumed could be made from a combination of sewage slurry, old sandwiches, and other food thrown away by supermarkets and restaurants.
The biggest obstacle to overcome is the cost, as companies say they need to be paid twice the market rate for it to make financial sense. There are also concerns about the government’s spending cuts and how they could make it more difficult, to impossible, to produce the 10 billion pounds needed for the construction of plants and pipelines.
The managing director of communities and new energy at British Gas, Geroid Lane, remarked with enthusiasm about the new energy resource, saying: “This renewable gas project is a real milestone in Britain’s energy history, and will help customers and the environment alike. Renewable gas has the potential to make a significant contribution to meeting the UK’s energy needs. Gas from sewage is just one part of a bigger project, which will see us using brewery and food waste and farm slurry to generate gas to heat homes.”