Human waste could soon be used to power London’s buildings.
The Greater London Authority (GLA) is in advanced talks with Thames Water over converting sewage into biogas to supply electricity and heat to London’s buildings.
Nicky Gavron, London’s deputy mayor, said: “We are working with Thames Water on taking its sewage, possibly combining it with commercial waste, and making a renewable gas through anaerobic digestion.”
Gavron also revealed that the GLA was in talks to roll this out on a larger scale. She said: “We are opening up talks with the government on how to do this.”
Anerobic digestion is an industrial system that uses microbes to break down organic matter in an oxygen-free environment. It is commonly used in sewage treatment but is currently becoming an increasing popular method for generating energy. Earlier this year, Stuart Rose, chief executive of Marks & Spencer, said his company was considering using anaerobic digestion of animal waste to power its Scottish stores.
Gavron added that this was a particularly eco-friendly form of producing energy. She said: “Once you start looking at waste as a resource, you realise that this method is either a zero or low-carbon way to produce energy.”