Defra has published a plan to boost biogas production from anaerobic digestion to help tackle climate change and produce renewable energy.
‘Accelerating the Uptake of Anaerobic Digestion in England: an Implementation Plan’ sets out actions to help businesses, local authorities, farmers and food producers to adopt the technology, which transforms organic material like manure and waste food into fuel.
The measures include financial incentives such as grants, a £10million programme of demonstration sites across the country, and a new research unit to test out the latest technology.
Today’s announcement emphasises the important role this technology can play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and managing organic waste. It also sets out how the use of AD will increase to produce biogas from organic materials such as livestock manures and slurries, sewage sludge and food wastes - to generate heat and power, and for transport fuel, either locally or injected into the gas grid. The treated residues from the AD process can also be used in agriculture as a bio-fertiliser.
The number of anaerobic digestion plants has grown significantly. Three years ago, there were an estimated three facilities processing municipal and commercial food waste. Today, there are ten in operation with the same number under construction. The number of digestion plants on farms has also grown, with around 25 currently in operation and at least 15 more planned.