The anaerobic digestion (AD) industry has called for experts to focus their efforts on efficiency savings for the sector to help it compete with the cost of nuclear energy by 2020.
A conference organised by the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) was told the sector had grown by more than 600% in the past five years, partly thanks to innovation from UK researchers.
It has now launched a Cost Competitiveness Task Force, which it hopes will establish the means by which the industry can make efficiency savings by at least 5% each year until 2020.
Chief executive Charlotte Morton said a lack of Government support for the industry made it more difficult for it to grow and compete with non-renewable technologies.
“Falling incentives and unworkable funding caps hinder renewable technologies’ efforts to scale and improve their cost competitiveness,” she said.
“With ever-limited support from the Government, therefore, the AD industry is seizing the initiative by challenging the expertise of the UK’s world-class researchers to help find innovations which will revolutionise performance even more, such as new sources of input, improvements in operational performance and more valuable outputs, to reduce the overall cost of production.”
She said additional research investment was essential for the AD industry to reduce its costs to a par with nuclear 2020, as well as:
- Government action to implement segregated food waste collections – unlocking valuable new feedstock
- recognition of and training on digestate – improving soil quality, crop yields, nutrient availability and soil structure
- increased public and business awareness of AD – driving up recycling rates and securing additional investment
- policy certainty and ambition – ensuring a policy regime which offers the certainty for further growth and investment