British AD industry breaks the 500MW barrier

The anaerobic digestion industry in the UK is now generating more than 510 megawatts of electricity across more than 400 sites, according to the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA).

The ADBA’s Chief Executive, Charlotte Morton, said market data now shows that AD offers over 500MWe electrical equivalent capacity, which is more than the Wylfa nuclear power plant, which is being decommissioned this year. 

“This capacity is extremely valuable because AD generates low carbon baseload or dispatchable power, helping to keep the lights on and balance the output from intermittent renewables such as wind and solar,” said Ms Morton. 

“The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change has rightly said that providing baseload is one of her department’s priorities, and biogas should be seen as an important component to our energy security. 

“Despite this, however, further growth in capacity is being hindered by the government’s decisions to remove Levy Exemption Certificates (LECs) in the summer budget – a cut that ADBA estimates will cost the AD industry £11 million – and to fast-track a four week consultation aimed at removing pre-accreditation from the Feed-in Tariff,” she added. 

“To continue to expand the industry needs viable support in the forthcoming FIT review, and an RHI budget which will support new green gas. AD has the potential to meet 30 per cent of UK domestic gas demand, and overall it could cut UK greenhouse gas emissions by four per cent and support food security and production.”

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues