Government AD Plans
18 August 2010
In the Coalition Agreement the Government set out a clear commitment to encouraging and promoting AD, stating that:
“The parties agree to implement a full programme of measures to fulfil our joint ambitions for a low carbon and eco-friendly economy,” including “... measures to promote a huge increase in energy from waste through anaerobic digestion.”
This statement injected renewed enthusiasm into AD, and several publications have since been issued by the Government which reinforce this sentiment.
On the 16 July, the Government published its Draft Structural Reform Plan ('the Plan'). The Plan is heralded as the 'key tool' for making departments accountable for the implementation of the reforms set out in the Coalition Agreement and reinforces the Government's intention to become 'the greenest Government ever'. The Plan sets out three key priorities, including the supporting of a 'strong and sustainable green economy, resilient to climate change'. One of the key actions highlighted within this priority is the driving of a zero waste agenda. This is an action which, from November 2011, will also include the setting out of steps to promote the production of energy from waste through AD.
On 27 July, just 11 days after publication of the Plan, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) released its first Annual Energy Statement (‘the Statement’). In the Statement DECC explains how it will take positive action to drive renewables development by implementing ‘a robust Delivery Plan’ and establishing a ‘comprehensive programme of appropriate financial support’. Importantly, for those interested in AD, action 25 of the Statement provides that:
“[DECC] are taking immediate action to exploit the potential of bio-electricity and energy from waste, by grandfathering support under the Renewables Obligation for electricity from dedicated biomass, energy from waste, anaerobic digestion and advanced conversion technologies, such as pyrolysis and gasification. We will publish in the autumn a joint industry/Government action plan to deliver a huge increase in energy from waste through anaerobic digestion.”
Therefore, it is clear that the promotion of AD is still very much on the Coalition Government’s agenda.