Accelerating the Uptake of Anaerobic Digestion in England: an Implementation Plan has been published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in response to recommendations made by the Anaerobic Digestion Task Group in July 2009 to increase AD capacity in England.
It states that the local advisory programme provided by the Waste & Resources Action Programme will help local authorities introduce separate food waste collection services. Furthermore, on-farm AD plants will come under revised environmental permitting exemptions, which come into force in April 2010.
Environment secretary Hilary Benn said: Anaerobic digestion has fantastic potential because it uses organic material that would otherwise be thrown away and coverts it into renewable energy.
Ive already seen great examples of this technology in use around the country and the implementation plan we are publishing today will help speed up its use across the economy. We should aim to become world leaders in the innovative use of AD.
As a relatively unfamiliar technology, Defra highlighted that further demonstration projects need to take place to build awareness and understanding among potential operators, developers, investors and customers. Announced in April 2009, £10 million has been provided for the AD Demonstration Programme until March 2011, which has already been awarded to five projects. These include BV Dairy, GWE Biogas, Langage Farm, Staples Vegetables and Davyhulme waste water treatment works United Utilities and National Grid
Work is also being carried out to regulate how biomethane can be directly injected into the national grid. The Environment Agency is therefore aiming to clarify exactly when biomethane produced from waste is no longer considered waste through a Quality Protocol. According to the report, £3.5 million has been made available to trial biomethane for trucks and heavy goods vehicles across the UK. The Government hopes this will encourage greater uptake of the fuel for road transport.
Online tools which record and map AD plants, provide information on new facilities, waste arisings and how the digestate is used and which report progress are currently being developed.