AD sector warns against subsidy cuts

The Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association has warned that Government plans to cut support for new AD plants will be “disastrous for bill payers”.

The Association’s official response to the review of the Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) warns the plans will cut industry growth to negligible levels and fail to deliver the baseload electricity generation capacity that would help keep the lights on. 

“DECC’s proposed deployment cap represents just 72.7MW over three and a quarter years – but to put this in context the AD industry deployed 47.9MW from 89 plants under the FIT scheme in 2014 alone,” said Association Chief Executive, Charlotte Morton.

“We understand government’s need to ensure value for money, but they should recognise that AD delivers much more than energy alone, and can reduce the cost of support over time if it is supported now. 

“Of course this cap comes in addition to the government’s decision to remove pre-accreditation from the FIT scheme. Given the length of time that it takes to develop AD plants, the announcement has already had a crippling impact on investor confidence – we know that £250 million of investment is on hold from two prospective investors alone. It is crucial for DECC to offer tariff guarantees early in the project development process to restore investors’ faith in government.” 

“DECC’s current proposals would– prompting higher consumer bills in the long-term, a greater reliance on energy sourced from volatile parts of the world, an uncertain future for UK farming resilience, and a carbon abatement bill in the billions,” added Ms Morton.    

“The Energy Secretary suggests that these decisions are aimed at ‘re-setting’ government policy to deliver cost effective baseload energy – but ADBA has provided evidence showing how AD will offer cheaper baseload energy than new nuclear by the time Hinkley Point C is delivered, providing localised generation without the risk of a single large development.”  

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