Living in Malvern, it’s a gas.

8th Jan 2018


Firstly, Happy New Year, let’s hope 2018 brings further certainty about the long-term future role of gas in the UK as a means of helping in the fight against climate change.

One week in, and it’s started well. As some of you know, I live just outside Malvern – you know the Spa town; Hills; Elgar and of course its gas lamps. The town has had gas lighting from the 18th Century, and there are still over 100 currently providing that special glow that can be seen for miles. And just to upset the all-electric extremists, they are listed items too.

But last week the BBC reported on how Malvern’s street lamps are being fuelled by “dog poo”. Dog walkers enjoying the Malvern Hills are encouraged to drop dog waste into an anaerobic digester which converts it into methane to fuel the gas light. This deals with the social problem of dog waste (even if it is bagged) being dropped by walkers; or even the cost of collection from special dog poo bins.

But for those concerned about climate change, rather than the dog waste giving off methane into the air (30 times worse than carbon dioxide) and the gas lamp using a separate source of methane to power it, the circular route of dog waste displacement is practiced.

As delighted as I was with the BBC carrying the story, I did tongue-in-cheek drop a note to the journalist to point out that up and down the UK this approach is being used on a much bigger scale. Biomethane gas injected into the grid from sewerage works is currently helping to heat homes, provide hot water and cook our meals. All this from Human Number Two’s, not just our pets. As I said to the journalist, something to ponder when you have a few minutes to sit down!