DEFRA have recently published the third and final annual report into the Anaerobic Digestion (AD) Strategy and Action Plan which was launched in June 2011. They report that:
- By September 2014 there were 140 AD plants in operation (This is up from the baseline of 68 in 2011). Also more than 200 had received planning permission.
- The capacity for electricity generated using AD was nearly 4 times the amount in 2014 than it was in 2011. The most recent figures available for the amount of electricity generated using AD shows that nearly 1.5TWh were generated in 2013. The government has a target of 3 to 5TWh by 2020. This should be achievable when you take into account the 200 potential new sites.
- Food and drink waste provides the biggest proportion of feedstock for the AD. Purpose grown crops (300,000 tonnes) and manures (260,000 tonnes) provide a smaller proportion compared to solid food waste (830,000 tonnes) and liquid (610,000 tonnes).
- Over a million tonnes of digestate was applied to agricultural land in 2012-13 which is 90% of the total amount produced.
- Support for farmers to decide if AD is right for them is available through grants for business cases through the £10 million AD Loan Fund. The Fund is currently supporting 41 farm-based projects which have generated 22 feasibility studies, and 5 business plans.
This is a major project for any business and as such needs careful preparation and planning. Here at Green and Co we have the expertise to advise on such projects.
Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.