EU directive sets 2020 target for UK to develop CNG Refuelling network
CNG leads the pack when it comes to developing working al ternative fuel strategy for HGVs
A new European Directive, (PE - Cons 79/14) which outlines minimum infrastructure requirements for alternative fuels, stipulates that, by the end of 2020, member states should have installed a network of refuelling points for compressed natural gas (CNG).
John Baldwin, managing director of CNG Services, which owns and operates the UK’s largest CNG refuelling station in Crewe says:
“It is farsighted of the EU to give priority to a CNG refuelling network. Replacing diesel wit h gas, particularly biomethane, has been shown to produce unmatched carbon savings.”
“Although the directive talks about developing the market for all alternative transport fuels – electricity, hydrogen, biofuels, natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas, i t is clear that natural gas offers a clear advantage for HGV and bus operators. The demands of this directive give focus to our efforts to deliver CNG and remove barriers to entry by giving fleet operators certainty that the infrastructure will be permane ntly available.”
“Biomethane as a vehicle fuel delivers all the benefits of natural gas, but with a clear advantage; it’s renewable and sustainable, plus can be delivered through this new CNG network, via the UK high pressure gas grid.”
“At the end of 2012 a milestone was passed when the first commercial scale biomethane plant became operational pumping renewable gas directly into the gas grid. Over 25 biomethane plants are due to be connected to the gas grid this year with a full year production of aroun d 130,000 tonnes of renewable gas, making bio - CNG available across the UK. To complete the picture CNG trucks are here now as dedicated CNG Scania Euro 6 trucks are starting to join the Argos fleet.”
The EU directive gives a target of 2020 for the developm ent of a member state wide CNG refuelling network in cities and suburban areas, with further gas refuelling facilities to be in place by the end of 2025 along core transport networks to cater for heavy vehicle demands.
The UK needs to significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and HGVs are responsible for over 20% of domestic emissions. The focus of the EU directive is in on the need to provide long term security for vehicle operators by providing a refuelling infrastructure and common standards.
Baldwin continues: “With the Government fixing the road fuel tax on Bio - CNG relative to diesel for 10 years and the dedicated Scania CNG trucks, there are now no barriers to the development of Bio - CNG for transport. It is no longer ‘chicken and egg’, we have the best high pressure gas grid in the EU and we have the trucks.”
“We have also been involved in developing a market for the Green Gas Certificates (GGC) which are received for each kWh of biomethane injected into the grid. Using the certificates allows us to track biomethane from the AD plant to hauliers. Each unit of green gas injected into the grid displaces unit of fossil derived gas. This scheme has provided further incentive to the development of clean fuel and ‘green gas’ is already used b y bus companies and hauliers such as Brit European Transport Limited.”
Compressed Natural Gas offers better performance than liquid fuels; less carbon dioxide, particulates and nitrogen oxides and 50% lower noise. The £10 billion UK gas grid allows Bio - CN G to be delivered directly to distribution depots and filling stations with minimal energy losses and no road movements. Bio - CNG costs around 30% less than diesel on a pence per mile basis.