The Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA) has urged the Government to think again about restrictions on anaerobic digestion (AD) subsidies, after applications for Feed-in-Tariffs (FiTs) hit the limit in just 15 minutes.
In December the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced that a ’deployment cap’ would be introduced to restrict spending on FiTs to £100m by 2018/19. The capacity of AD schemes was limited to a total of 5.8MW.
The caps are triggered quarterly, and unsuccessful applicants have to wait until the next round when the limit decreases to 5MW.
The current cap period ends on 31 March, but pre-accreditation applications for AD hit the maximum level in only a quarter of an hour after opening on 8 February.
ADBA said that, by the end of the first day of receiving applications, AD applications with a total capacity of 15MW had been submitted – three times the limit.
Chief executive Charlotte Morton said: “Surpassing the first quarter’s FIT cap in just 15 minutes, and almost three times over by the end of the day, shows just how much more green energy we could deliver if we weren’t being held back.
“DECC has said it will look again at deployment caps alongside the forthcoming review of AD tariffs this year.
“This can’t be soon enough – while we wait much needed baseload capacity is on hold.”
ADBA says the deployment cap will restrict AD schemes to 72.7MW over three-and-a-quarter years, whereas in 2014 the AD industry developed schemes producing 47.9MW under FiTs in 2014.
In its response to a consultation on deployment caps, the Government insisted the overall £100m limit was necessary to minimise “the impact of the scheme on consumer bills”.