The Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA) has written to the Treasury urging it to ‘supercharge’ the UK’s AD industry to “reap huge economic and environmental benefits”.
The appeal was made ahead of chancellor Philip Hammond’s Budget statement, scheduled for 29 October.
ADBA chief executive Charlotte Morton said the growing global biogas industry has the potential to be worth £1tr and the UK has a chance to be a leader if it acts now.
In her letter to Robert Jenrick MP, exchequer secretary to the Treasury, Morton said: “With targeted Government support for research into our sector, we could supercharge our industry and put it at the cutting edge of agricultural science.
“Developing new waste management technologies would provide a boon to British exports, but also transform the sector’s performance to eliminate the need for further future subsidy.
“The UK AD industry has grown by more than 350% during the past 10 years and the UK has established itself as a world leader in biogas, with companies already exporting biogas-related expertise and equipment.
“The UK has a real opportunity to be at the heart of the growing global biogas industry, which has the potential to be worth £1tr.”
Domestically, Morton has argued that, at its full potential, the AD industry could meet 30% of the UK’s household gas or electricity demand, create 35,000 jobs in rural areas and save councils money.
National Infrastructure Commission figures indicate that universal food waste collections in England would save councils up to £400m in capital costs and £1.1bn in operational costs between 2020-50.
Policy objectives around energy security, improving soil quality and reinvigorating the UK’s manufacturing sector would be aided by a boosted AD sector, Morton argued. She said the process could play a central role in agritech by helping farmers to reduce their emissions, as wll as aid the growing bioeconomy.