Latest News from Defra - Accelerating the Uptake of Anaerobic Digestion

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25 March 2010

The Plan sets out actions to address opportunities and challenges in each of the following areas:

Creating the Economic Framework: Key actions include:

(a) financial incentives: (Renewable Obligation Certificates: ROCs, Feed-In Tariffs: FITs, Renewable Heat Incentive and Renewable transport fuel Obligation)

(b) supporting the separate collection of food waste

(c)  helping to create a market for digestate by supporting the new standard BSI PAS 110

Creating the Regulatory Framework: Being alive to the balance between cost effective growth of the industry and  environment health and safety issues. Key actions include:

(a)  new exemptions to environmental permitting

(b)  new standard environmental permits

(c)   publishing the Standard and Quality Protocol for digestate

(d)   regulatory guidance  for injection of biomethane into the gas grid

Demonstrating Viability: increasing industry uptake requires increasing awareness and understanding. Key actions include:

(a)  delivery of the AD Demonstration Programme worth £10m

(b)  developing the online AD advice portal : http://www.biogas-info.co.uk

(c)   the development of training standards for AD operators

The implementation Plan also covers the need to improve research into the technology and the need to share experience from other countries where AD is more advanced (principally Germany, Denmark and Austria).

It is clear that there is a high level of commitment from the Government to see substantial steps forward for AD in both the public and private sectors and it is encouraging that a high proportion of the actions mentioned are in progress. However, it is disappointing to see that Defra has set any deadlines to achieve these goals. Instead, it has stated that it will publish a report in Spring 2011 assessing its overall progress.

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