The UK’s biogas sector faces an uncertain future following the latest report from The National Non-Food Crops Centre.
Past and current growth rates in the sector look set to plateau around late 2017. This will inevitably bring with it increased investor uncertainty and reduced backing from government groups.
Statistics show over 450 sites are in the development phase at the moment, with predictions indicating that just over 50% of these will be successfully built and become fully operational.
There is of course still potential for sites to go ahead and be built albeit behind schedule, but planning for new sites has taken a dramatic hit with around 50% fewer sites making it past the planning stage in the last year.
Growth is the problem
Rather ironically, the substantial growth in the sector is what is creating its demise, as investors were speedily getting multiple plants through the planning stage in order to gain incentives such as the Feed-in-tariff (FIT’s) and Renewable heat incentives (RHI).
As a result, the quarterly caps set on these schemes are being hit significantly ahead of schedule, therefore triggering cuts in the prospective quarters as the government looks to decrease its investment in the sector.
Whilst ongoing research is conducted and final papers are due on the FIT’s rates moving forward, it seems that it may be too little too late for this sector in the EU.
Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.