Hargey seeks views on developing a sustainable biomethane sector

Date published: 17 May 2024


Economy Minister Deirdre Hargey has said biomethane could provide a locally produced, sustainable and secure renewable energy source.

Press release

The Minister was speaking at the Balmoral show as she launched a three-month Call for Evidence seeking information and views from key stakeholders on developing a sustainable biomethane sector.

A renewable gas, biomethane is the purified version of biogas produced from the anaerobic digestion of organic matter such as silage, manure and brown bin waste. Recent research indicates that this region has significant biomethane potential due its large agricultural sector.

Minister Hargey said:

“Moving away from fossil fuels is vital in the transition towards a greener and more sustainable economy. Due to our large agricultural sector, we have the potential to use biomethane to support our journey towards net zero. Biomethane can not only provide a locally produced, sustainable source of energy but also enhance our energy security of supply.

“This Call for Evidence seeks the insight of key stakeholders into how biomethane production should develop locally. Co-design is central to the Economic Vision, and all responses received will contribute towards the establishment of an effective policy framework to support the development of a sustainable biomethane sector.”

Turning to how biomethane can boost the rural economy, Ms Hargey continued:

“The first injection of locally produced biomethane into the gas network last November was a welcome development which we must build upon. Implementing green technologies is often presented as a cost, but the development of the biomethane sector here presents significant economic opportunities for the rural economy in the creation of good jobs, raising productivity and addressing historical regional imbalances.”

To conclude, the Minister acknowledged the collaborative support received from Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs:

“I thank Minister Muir and his officials for their support in the development of biomethane policy and management of feedstocks. Our Departments are closely linked on the development of a sustainable biomethane sector and we will continue to work collaboratively to reduce carbon emissions.”

Notes to editors: 

1. The Call for Evidence is seeking information and views on a range of issues, including:

  • the role biomethane should play in the path to net zero;
  • how to effectively manage the feedstocks required to produce biomethane;
  • the economic viability of producing biomethane locally; and
  • the treatment of costs related to connecting biomethane production sites to the gas network.

2. The call for evidence is available at DfE website and will remain open for 12 weeks until 5pm on Friday 9 August 2024.

3. To keep up to date with news from the Department for the Economy, you can follow us on the following social media channels:

X – @Economy_NI
Facebook – @DeptEconomyNI
Instagram – economy_ni
LinkedIn – Department for the Economy NI 

4. For media enquiries contact the Department for the Economy Press Office at pressoffice@economy-ni.gov.uk 

5. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

Share this page

Back to top