19 March 2011

RHI level will help AD - The Low Carbon Economy

Lord Redesdale, chairman of the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association, has welcomed the announcement of the Renewable Heat Incentive in the Spending Review.

"After months of work on the RHI, the Government's decision is very welcome. It will allow the huge increase in AD promised in the Coalition Agreement to be realised – the level of the RHI is a huge vote of confidence in this new and growing industry.

"The decision underlines ministers' commitment to AD, and has obviously involved a lot of complex work from civil servants to bring it to fruition, so I'd like to take this opportunity to thank them all.

"Moving forward, the Government now needs to consider steps such as socialising the cost of gas grid connection to encourage the best use of biogas for meeting the UK's targets, including the huge increase in energy from waste through anaerobic digestion which the coalition promised."

The announced level is 6.5p/kWh for biomethane injection to the grid, guaranteed for 20 years. AD has the potential to provide over 40 TWh of energy, which would be enough to heat a city larger than Birmingham and is equivalent to 20% of the UK's domestic gas demand.

Charlotte Morton, ADBA's chief executive, said: "As independent studies have shown, upgrading biogas to biomethane for grid injection is the best way to maximise the contribution of the AD industry to mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and addressing energy security issues. I hope that the RHI will now make this viable for many projects, and that the AD industry will expand to play a significant role in the UK's green energy mix."

Key facts you need to know about anaerobic digestion and biogas

• Anaerobic digestion  (AD) is a natural process which converts organic matter such as household food and garden waste, farm slurry, waste from food processing plants and supermarkets, into biogas.
• Biogas can be utilised to generate electricity, heat, and, upgraded to bio-methane, be either used as a transport fuel or be fed directly into the UK's gas grids.
• According to the Carbon Trust, the generation of bio-methane, which is very similar to natural gas, would save twice as much carbon dioxide as producing electricity by 2020.
• AD is the only renewable that can be scaled up fast enough to enable the UK to reach its 2020 renewable energy target.
• AD reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
• AD preserves critical natural resources such as nitrates and phosphorus. Phosphorous is a finite resource for which there is no known alternative. It is critical for plant growth and world resources are already running out.
• AD reduces our use of fossil fuels.
• AD significantly improves Britain's energy security.

Five facts you need to know about ADBA

• ADBA stands for the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association.
• The Anaerobic Digestion  and Biogas Association was founded in September 2009.
• Since its launch ADBA has acquired over 200 members.
• ADBA's chairman is Lord Redesdale, former energy spokesman of the Liberal Democrats.
• ADBA's aim is to help enable or facilitate the development of a mature AD industry in the UK and to represent all businesses involved in the anaerobic digestion and biogas industries, to remove the barriers they face and to support its members to grow their businesses and the industry to help UK plc meet its renewable energy, climate change and landfill targets, as well as the preservation of critical natural resources.

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