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Government U-turn on AD Feed-in Tariffs causes ‘bitter disappointment’

Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) for anaerobic digestion (AD) will not be reviewed, the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has confirmed.

The news comes despite energy minister Greg Barker sending a letter to industry last year saying the Government would consult on FITs this January.

The Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA), the Renewable Energy Association (REA) and others in the industry had been pushing hard for a tariff review.

This is because a capacity trigger for plants under 500kW was reached in September, initiating a 20% tariff reduction from April 2014. This affects small to mid-scale plants, including on-farm AD.

REA head of policy Paul Thompson said: “This is a bitter disappointment. We have worked hard with industry colleagues and DECC officials on proposals to fix the FIT for small and mid-scale AD, so it is extremely frustrating that this has not been done.

“The Government has kicked this issue into the long grass, leaving several projects and companies in the sector at extreme risk.”

Charlotte Morton, ADBA chief executive said: “This decision appears contrary to the government’s stated support for small-scale AD on farms in particular.

“Smaller scale AD has a range of environmental benefits on top of generating electricity, including encouraging better manure management on farms and reducing the use of artificial fertilisers.

“A range of UK businesses are also in the process of developing technology and expertise which will be lost without the early-stage support which the current FIT level provides.

“Just five sub 250kW plants came online in 2013. A stable FIT regime is central to the industry’s growth.”

 

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