Biogas producers no longer need waste permits to use crop residues in the anaerobic digestion (AD) process, the Environment Agency has said.
The change comes after a campaign from the Renewable Energy Association (REA), which culminated in a letter in June 2014 to Owen Paterson, the then environment secretary, asking for the legislation to be removed.
Previously AD operators needed to have waste permits if they handled by-products such as leaves, roots and misshapen produce as part of their feedstock.
Potato producer and REA member Branston Ltd is one of the companies set to benefit from the new deregulation. Innovations director Vidyanath Gururajan said:
“This is definitely a step in the right direction for encouraging the fresh produce industry to use AD technology to reduce its carbon emissions.”
REA technical director Jeremy Jacobs said: “This regulatory boost will be the final piece in the puzzle for several on-site and on-farm AD projects that had been hanging in the balance, which is great news.
“As the elections nears, we’re encouraging all parties to commit to a genuine and lasting solution to the FIT problem when it is reviewed in 2015.”