ADBA reacts to FIT consultation




The Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association has welcomed the publication yesterday [9 February] of the Comprehensive Review of the Feed in Tariff, but expressed caution about the proposed tariffs for AD.

Under the Government’s proposals, plants with installed capacity above 500kW will receive 9.0p/kWh from October 2012, compared to the 9.9p/kWh they would have received without any change. The tariff for plants up to 250kW will be 14.7p/kWh, and for 250-500kW it will be 13.7p/kWh.

These rates will then be static until 2014, when they start to degress at set rates each year. The degression process could be brought forward if the industry grows faster than the Government expects.

The consultation had been delayed due to legal proceedings over the cuts to the tariff for solar PV, which were announced last year.

Speaking in the House of Lords yesterday [9 February], ADBA Chairman and Liberal Democrat peer Lord Redesdale said:

“The same financiers who have had certain problems with solar PV are the ones who are financing AD. It is extremely difficult to get any debt financing or equity financing for AD at the moment. This is of particular concern regarding the statement that if certain trigger points are met, there would be a retroactive reduction in the feed-in tariff for anything coming on-stream at that point. If we were nearing those targets, that would have a major implication for financiers financing schemes because they would not know which band tariff they would be under.”

ADBA Chief Executive Charlotte Morton said:

“It is a relief that the FiT consultation has finally been published, but the ambition for AD is disappointingly low given the potential of the industry. Assuming all food waste were separated out and prioritised for AD, the industry would deliver over 10% of the UK’s total gas demand. Achieving that could result in 35,000 jobs.

“ADBA will be consulting with members on the tariff levels which have been proposed, including the suggested reductions.

“The Government needs to ensure that their policies on renewable energy, waste and land use are coherent. These are all valuable resources that we need to make the most of. Our industry needs stability and certainty to realise its full contribution to green growth, energy and climate change targets.”


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, and sewage sludge, into biogas.

Biogas (which is approximately 60% biomethane, 40% CO2) can be utilised to generate electricity and heat, or, upgraded to biomethane, either used as a transport fuel or fed directly into the UK’s gas grids

According to the Carbon Trust the generation of biomethane 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

The AD industry has the potential to be worth 2-3bn in the UK alone and employ 35,000 people

Overseas potential is significant and the UK could be a world leader – with the right support now.

AD reduces greenhouse gas emissions by treating organic wastes which would otherwise emit methane (landfill, slurries) and reducing our use of energy intensive commercial fertilisers and fossil fuels

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. Nitrates are one of the key components of fertilisers.

AD significantly improves Britain’s energy security – we will soon be importing over 70% of our gas

Unlike other renewables, biomethane is generated constantly and can be stored in the gas grid

Biomethane is one of the few renewable fuels for Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) which cannot run on electricity

The AD industry has the potential to generate around 40TWh of energy, equivalent to over 10% of the UK’s domestic gas demand

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 nearly 300 members, including AD plant operators, suppliers, local authorities, farmers including the NFU, utility and energy companies such as E.ON and United Utilities, food producers such as Waitrose and Branston, fleet operators such as Coca Cola and Howard Tenens.

ADBA’s chairman is Lord Redesdale, former Liberal Democrat energy spokesman

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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