Friends of the Earth has welcomed the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reforms (BERR) focus on anaerobic digestion in its UK renewable energy consultation.
Launched last week it focused on how the UK could meet its share of the EU renewable energy target to obtain 15% of the UKs energy from renewable sources by 2020. The consultation explains that it wants to encourage local authorities to collect food waste so that it can be broken down to biogas through anaerobic digestion.
Friends of the Earth senior waste campaigner Michael Warhurst said: The report is a good thing; it is very important for Government to invest in anaerobic digestion plants. But countries such as Germany are hugely ahead of us. Some EU countries have started to upgrade biogas into biomethane and inject it into their gas grids.
Warhurst acknowledged that anaerobic digestion was one important element out of a variety of renewable technologies but said that anaerobic digestion was the most prominent. He also said that anaerobic digestion was a more favourable route than incinerating waste.
But Renewable Advisory Board member David Williams said that the Government laid too much emphasis on anaerobic digestion and failed to focus on other waste streams such as energy-from-waste incineration and combined heat and power. He said: I am not a big fan of anaerobic digestion. The Government needs a lot more EfW plants and needs to incinerate a lot more waste.
Williams added that the Government has failed to invest more in EfW plants because of fear of a political backlash and incineration is down the waste hierarchy.
Image: Friends of the Earth logo