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Biomethane production hits record high

The Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) has reiterated calls for separate food collections after new data indicated the volume of biomethane supplied to the national grid has quadrupled this year.

The announcement was made after the UK’s four gas distribution networks agreed to let ADBA conduct an analysis of their data.

It was revealed the number of biomethane-to-grid plants had doubled each year since 2011. There are now ten of those facilities in the UK, generating nearly 1TWh.

ADBA chief executive Charlotte Morton said the booming market was good for the UK’s climate and energy security, and that food waste was a valuable resource.

She said: “From the biomethane capacity data across all of the UK’s gas distribution networks, we have found that capacity has tripled year-on-year since 2011 and is set to quadruple this year.

“Today just ten biomethane plants have the capacity to generate almost 1TWh of gas, sufficient to heat around 50,000 homes each year, and the number of plants could still double over the next year.”

“Biomethane is one of the most efficient forms of domestic renewable energy which, at a time when we are expected to import 69% of our gas supply from some of the most volatile parts of the world, could replace over 10% of the UK’s domestic gas needs – equivalent to 40TWh - while helping to fight climate change.

“That two thirds of the industry’s potential is generated from human poo, food and farm wastes demonstrates just how valuable these resources are - and why we need separate food waste collections.”

Ian Marchant, president of the Energy Institute, said: “I have long believed that biomethane could play a useful role in decarbonising the UK’s heat requirements.

“Following a visit to the Rainbarrow anaerobic digestion plant at Poundbury in Dorset, I realised that the biomethane industry was both making good progress and facing obstacles that needed to be addressed.”

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