Following Ecotricity's revelation that the UK could meet almost all of its gas needs from grass, the renewable energy provider has started a petition calling on the government to review the potential of green gas over fracking.
Ecotricity's report, Green Gas: The Opportunity for Britain, found that there is enough suitable grassland to heat 97 per cent of British homes if 'green gas mills' are built to convert grass into gas. As well as cutting carbon emissions, this could support 150,000 jobs and direct £7.5 billion into the economy every year.
The company is therefore positioning green gas as a viable alternative to shale gas from fracking.
"Local opposition to fracking is simply being ignored – it's the most unpopular energy source ever, but it's being forced on people by the government," says Dale Vince, Ecotricity Founder.
"We want to show that there's an alternative to fracking – and start a local debate in the areas directly affected by it, in the same way we want to start a debate at the national level, including the House of Commons.
"It's important not just to oppose fracking, but to have an answer as to where Britain is going to get its gas from as North Sea supplies run out. Green gas is the new option – this is something that local communities should be able to choose instead of fracking, and something the government should now consider.
"It's not too late to prevent fracking – it hasn't really started yet. We've unveiled a new way of making gas – it's a viable alternative to fracking, and the right thing to do in light of this new option is to have a proper review of where we're going to get our gas in Britain.
"That's why we're calling on Theresa May to think again and look at green gas as the genuine alternative."
The petition is well on its way to reach Ecotricity's target of 5,000 signatures.