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AD industry concern over renewable energy roadmap

The Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA) has complained that DECC’s Renewable Energy Roadmap Update does not place enough emphasis on anaerobic digestion.

Charlotte Morton, ADBA chief executive, said: “Delivering the coalition’s commitment to a huge increase in energy from waste though anaerobic digestion requires a much more focussed effort – and the government’s roadmap doesn’t even have a specific section on AD, or mention the potential for biomethane as a transport fuel.”

Morton pointed out that the AD industry in the UK enjoyed steady growth in 2012, and that a report by the think tank CentreForum in July 2012 found a capacity for 800% growth with the right support.

She added: “AD could bring huge benefits to the UK, not only as a flexible, constantly generated form of renewable energy but by providing more sustainable waste treatment, supporting climate-smart farming and improving our air quality.”

Anaerobic digestion roadmap

ADBA has published its own roadmap on the future of AD, to plug gaps in the DECC’s plan.

The AD roadmap describes the challenges facing the technology, and how they can be overcome.

It outlines as priorities:

  • Increasing investor confidence in the industry by resolving issues around feed-in tariffs and RHI, as well as the introduction of a pre-accrediation system for incentive schemes.
  • Ensuring greater access to feedstock by banning biodegradable material to landfill and supported segregated organic waste collection services.
  • Green gas: Suggestions include: an exemption for biomethane from the Gas Safety Management Regulations; creating an obligation on gas suppliers to buy green gas; and working with the civil service on how to connect biomethane injection to the grid.
  • Better incentives for using biomethane as a vehicle fuel.
  • Supporting the development of the digestate market.
  • Ensuring planning policies are being applied consistently to AD projects and the introduction of a National Waste Management Plan for England that supports planning for AD.

Morton said: “DECC’s roadmap alone will not bring the coordination across government needed to realise these benefits – waste policy needs to maximise the organic material available for AD, bioenergy policy needs to support good practice and compare technologies by common criteria, and biomethane in transport needs a more attractive framework of support.

“We look forward to working with government in 2013 to help realise as much of this roadmap as possible, alongside actions set out in DECC’s update such as the publication of voluntary guidance on growing crops for AD.”


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