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10% Of Britains Energy To Come From Renewable Biogas From Anaerobic Digestion By 2020


The Copenhagen Targets will not be met without the development of the anaerobic digestion industry.

The Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA) today is calling for all political parties to recognise the importance of anaerobic digestion in the future of Britain’s gas, electricity and heat supply. The call to action will come as the organisation holds its first ever annual conference on the feasibility of the renewable energy source in the wake of the Copenhagen conference. Lord Redesdale, Executive Chairman of ADBA, will claim “Britain will fail to meet its renewable energy targets without rapid building of a nationwide anaerobic digestion infrastructure.”

ADBA predicts farmers, commercial operators and local authorities will build 1,000 AD plants in the next five years at a cost of 5 billion, mostly funded by the private sector, with the aim to generate gas worth 1.7 billion per year. These new plants could meet two thirds of Britain’s renewable energy targets by 2020.

Anaerobic digestion, which is already widely implemented in EU countries such as Germany and in the water industry in the UK, uses micro-organisms to break down agricultural and household waste to produce methane gas, which can then be converted into electricity or heat or injected directly into the gas or electricity grids.

ABDA believes the industry will employ 20,000 – 40,000 people producing up to 20% of Britain’s domestic gas supply.

Lord Redesdale, Chairman of ADBA said:

“At a time when the cost and security of our gas supply is in jeopardy, when there is so much public support for renewable technologies, and when we do not look like we are going to hit our renewable and recycling targets, it is surprising that anaerobic digestion is not one of our top priorities.  AD will convert waste into power, with the added benefit that the residue is a fertiliser that can be put back on the land.”

The conference will host speakers from Government, industry, local authorities and waste management who will highlight the steps needed to grow the industry throughout Britain.

At present there are only a small number of anaerobic digestion plants in England, however over half a billion pounds has already been committed to AD plants that are currently being built or awaiting planning.

ABDA predicts that 75% of AD plants will be in the agricultural sector, helping farmers to diversify into energy and reduce their overheads. 25% of plants will deal with municipal or household green waste helping councils cut their waste bills and meet their waste targets

ABDA will be producing a waste map of England over the next year to facilitate the construction of anaerobic digestion plants regionally.

  1. ABDA was set up in 2009
  2. The conference is being held at Institute of Civil Engineers, One Great George Street, Westminster between 9am and 5:30pm on Wednesday 16th December
  3. ADBA National Conference 2009 – The Dash for Gas
  4. Keynote Speakers include:
  • Dan Norris MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Simon Hughes  MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
  • Johnny Johnston, Head of Sustainable Gas Group, National Grid
  • David Kennedy, CEO, The Committee on Climate Change
  • Tricia Henton, Director of Environment Protection, Environment Agency
  • Dr Andy Rees, Head of Waste Strategy Branch, Welsh Assembly
  • Chris Matthews, Head of Sustainability, United Utilities
  • Dr. Richard Swannell, Director of Retail and Organics Programmes,WRAP
  • Mark Price, Managing Director, Waitrose
  • Eugenie Harvey, Director, 10:10

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