The Government must act faster to develop low carbon technologies such as anaerobic digestion to help the UK move towards a green economy, say MPs in a new report.
The cross-party House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee, appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Department of Energy and Climate Change, published their findings in a new report Low carbon technologies in a green economy (March 28). The report states: We have heard that the process for procuring municipal waste for use in anaerobic digestion plants can take up to five years through negotiations with local authorities. The Government should review procurement regulations and definitions of waste to ensure that they do not create unnecessary barriers to renewable energy generation. If necessary, the Government should be prepared to raise this issue with European counterparts to ensure European Union regulations are part of the solution and not the problem.
Retail giant Tesco provided evidence to the report and told MPs that it was keen to explore AD as an efficient closed loop waste to energy system for the business.
However, it stated that its individual sites did not produce enough waste to exclusively supply an AD plant. Tesco added: An ideal supplement [to the waste we generate] would be municipal waste, but EU procurement regulations require that a private finance initiative-like process be undertaken in order to obtain this, and negotiations with local authorities can take up to five years.
The Food and Drink Federation also acknowledged that planning permission and joined up local authority approaches were difficult issues.
Launching the report, Energy and Climate Change Committee acting chair Paddy Tipping MP said: Investment in low carbon technologies must be seen as key to a sustainable economic recovery over the long -term. The Government should increase the proportion of public money spent on the development and uptake of low carbon technologies because they have a vital role to play in the move towards a green economy. In particular, these technologies have the potential to reduce the carbon intensity of processes at every stage of the energy supply chain, resulting in lower emissions, many new jobs and sustainable growth for the UK economy.