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AD sector breaks 500MW capacity

The anaerobic digestion (AD) industry in the UK now boasts a capacity of more than 500MW, according to the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA), but it has repeated its warning about future growth.

The latest figures from ADBA are for 411 plants in the farming, waste and water sectors. The new total of 514MW is more than the capacity of the Wylfa nuclear power plant on Anglesey in Wales. 

Charlotte Morton ADBA

Chief executive Charlotte Morton, left, said this was “an extremely valuable” because AD generates low-carbon ‘baseload’ to balance the output from intermittent renewables such as wind and solar.

“The energy secretary has rightly said that providing baseload is one of her department’s priorities, and biogas should be seen as an important component to our energy security,” said Morton.

But she said further capacity growth in capacity was being hindered by Government decision in the Budget to remove Levy Exemption Certificates, a cut that ADBA estimates will cost the AD industry an annual £11m, and a four-week consultation aimed at removing pre-accreditation from the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) which closed on 19 August. 

“To continue to expand, the industry needs viable support in the forthcoming FiT review, and a renewable heat incentive budget which will support new green gas.

“AD has the potential to meet 30% of UK domestic gas demand and, overall, it could cut UK greenhouse gas emissions by 4% and support food security and production.”

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