A strategy plan to better deploy anaerobic digestion in the UK was released today by the government.
Energy Minister Greg Barker said:”The Anaerobic Digestion strategy and action plan will help us unlock the potential to get more energy from waste to reduce emissions in the fight against climate change.”
The plan for action and strategy offers guidance on the cost and benefits of AD to developers and local authorities. The process of AD breaks down organic matter in the absence of oxygen and can be used to release energy in the form of biogas, such as methane. Methane is one of the few renewable fuels suitable for Heavy Goods Vehicles, and is noted for its potential to reduce reliance on imported gas.
The report aims to highlight the space for AD in the UK’s widening energy landscape: “AD has a number of advantages over other renewable energy technologies. The energy is generated constantly, unlike wind, tidal and solar power, and can be stored in the grid (in the form of gas).”
As well as providing renewable energy the minister said AD offered an environmental option for waste management that could reduce unsightly landfill sights.
He said: “Letting rubbish and waste rot in landfill is madness when we can use it to power our homes and cars. We are already making it financially attractive to turn waste into electricity under the Feed-in Tariffs scheme and soon there’ll be similar incentives to generate heat too.”
The report however highlights the financial sector can be cautious when assessing AD projects which it attributes to “a lack of understanding about the risks and possible returns on investment, the high cost of due diligence for small to medium plants and a lack of knowledge in general.”