Anaerobic digestion (AD) could provide cheaper power than nuclear plants were the Government to throw its weight behind expanding the industry.
That view has come from the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA), whose chief executive Charlotte Morton welcomed figures showing rapid growth for the sector in Scotland.
Morton said that developments in Scotland showed the “excellent” return on investment gained from the continued deployment of AD capacity.
“With a commitment from the Government to support the technology to scale – a commitment which currently does not exist – AD can deliver baseload energy that is cheaper than new nuclear by the time Hinkley Point C is built, and that can help decarbonise UK heat, farming and transport.”
ADBA figures showed the industry had grown by two-thirds in Scotland in the past year.
There 27 working projects, up from 16 a year earlier, while a further 43 have planning approval and another 12 are awaiting planning permission.
Increased numbers of household food waste collections under the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012 mean more feedstock will become available to meet demand from the ADn industry.
Scottish Renewables policy manager Stephanie Clark said: “These new figures show that AD is being taken extremely seriously by Scottish businesses.”
One case study cited by the ADBA showed that BioGask, based near Turriff, Aberdeenshire, uses an AD system to dispose of food waste and slurries for commercial customers (pictured).
Pig slurry and meat processing waste are fed into a 2,500cu m tank, which also has the potential to use chicken feathers, maize silage and fish processing wastes, to produce power.