Making the CASE for sustainable energy

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The future potential for renewable gas is the subject of a new research project which is being funded by The Centre for Advanced Sustainable Energy with support from Phoenix Natural Gas and industry partners Agri Ad and EnerChem Solutions.  

The Centre for Advanced Sustainable Energy (CASE) is funded through Invest NI’s Competence Centre Programme and aims to transform the sustainable energy sector through commercially focused research.  

Hosted by Queen’s University, CASE funds collaborative, industry-led research also at Ulster University and government-backed research body, the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (ABFI).  

The new partnership will seek to quantify the opportunity available to harness biomethane from agricultural waste across Northern Ireland for injection into the natural gas grid locally, creating a renewable gas home heating solution.  

Speaking about the project, Director of CASE, Sam McCloskey said: “The decarbonisation of the energy system is a key priority for populations across the globe as we collectively seek ways to reduce the impact of climate change.  

“Locally we have significant opportunity to realise the potential of our indigenous resources to fuel our transition to net-zero carbon.  With biomethane injection into the natural gas network already proven, the next step is to identify and assess the amount of biomethane potential that exists across our abundance of agricultural waste and understand what percentage of renewable gas could be generated that can in turn fuel homes across Northern Ireland.”  

Biomethane injection into the natural gas network has been proven in countries right across Europe, demonstrating the ability of the natural gas infrastructure to transport and deliver a blended form of home heating fuel.  

Jonathan Martindale, Director of Business Development at Phoenix Natural Gas said: “Natural gas was a disrupter to traditional home heating choices when it arrived in 1996, and since then it has been a key enabler for carbon reduction locally, providing increased fuel choice and enabling households to displace high polluting alternative fuel sources.  

“We are proud to be part of this collaborative research project which will identify the opportunities to further enhance the environmental credentials of the gas infrastructure and provide an even lower carbon home heating solution for consumers across Northern Ireland.”  

CASE is funded by Invest NI, and has recently launched a call for new project applications.  Further details on the range of its sustainable energy research projects and opportunities for  business participation can be found at:  

Further information on the role of natural gas in delivering a lower carbon future can be found at: