The Green Investment Bank (GIB) has announced an investment of £6.5m for two on-farm anaerobic digestion (AD) plants in Northern Ireland.
GIB and its fund manager Foresight Group invested in projects in Cookstown, County Tyrone and Banbridge, County Down which will both be used by livestock farmers to create renewable energy for 1,700 homes a year.
There are currently eight AD plants in Northern Ireland, but GIB believes there is room for that capacity to increase to 50 in the future.
Stuart Kingsbury, chief executive at GB said: “Today’s announcement is a textbook example of the types of project we should be seeing all across the UK. It’s economically important, injecting £6.5m into the rural economy in Northern Ireland and generating 22 new jobs.
“It’s green, turning farm waste into renewable energy and fertiliser. And it’s good for the local farming community, earning and saving them money.
“Northern Ireland has taken a real lead in this fast-emerging technology, so we were delighted to help get these new projects moving and stand ready to back other community-based, green projects like them across the UK.”
Defra’s resource minister Dan Rogerson said: “AD is the unsung hero of the renewables industry; it diverts waste from landfill and generates clean, renewable energy. Given the technology’s flexibility it’s also a great way for farmers to secure additional income from manures and slurries alongside food waste.”
The investment comes in the same week that consultancy Eunomia warned that the anaerobic digestion industry was at “tipping point” because of a lack of feedstock for the expanding sector.