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ADBA celebrates a decade of UK anaerobic digestion industry support

The UK Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) today celebrates its 10th Anniversary supporting the anaerobic digestion industry. The trade organisation, then known as the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association, was set up by Lord Redesdale and ten founding members to remove barriers to the expansion of the anaerobic digestion (AD) industry and develop industry best practice and standards.

Founded on September 10, 2009, the UK Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) celebrates its 10th Anniversary supporting the anaerobic digestion industry. The trade organisation, then known as the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association, was set up by Lord Redesdale and ten founding members to remove barriers to the expansion of the anaerobic digestion (AD) industry and develop industry best practice and standards.

The Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA) was set up on September 10, 2009, by former Liberal Democrat Energy Spokesperson Lord Rupert Redesdale and 10 founder members.

In 2004, the name was changed to the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) to reflect a broadening remit to include emerging technologies and products from the bioeconomy.

Within weeks of its launch, ADBA, already led by its current Chief Executive Charlotte Morton, hosted its first National Conference and a few months later the first AD-specific trade show in the UK, which then welcomed 65 exhibitors.

Sector stimulation and support

Since then, in addition to supporting members with trade events and market reports to stimulate business and knowledge sharing, operational guidance publications to promote good practice,

This year saw the launch of the World Biogas Summit alongside the annual UK AD and World Biogas Expo.

Awards to celebrate the industry’s pioneers, ADBA has been steadfast in lobbying the UK government, working closely with members and stakeholders to secure policy incentives and investment for the industry.

ADBA’s latest achievements include a strong presence for AD within the Government Resources and Waste Strategy, committing to mandatory separate food waste collections in England by 2023, and a pledge in the Chancellor’s Spring Statement last year to increase the proportion of green gas in the grid.

350 percent growth

Over the years, AD has been increasingly recognised as a significant technology to decarbonise the UK economy across multiple sectors and produce home-grown renewable heat, electricity and transport fuel, as well as vital, soil-restoring natural fertiliser.

In her role as Chief Executive, Charlotte Morton has overseen ADBA facilitating a 350 percent growth in the sector, with nearly 650 plants being commissioned, a workforce raising to between 3 000 and 4 000 people and a capacity reaching nearly 1 GW of electricity-equivalent, enough to power over 1.2 million homes.

AD has been able to reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions by over 1 percent – a figure which the ADBA says could rise to 5 percent with the right policy and funding support.

Within the last decade, AD has become one of the most innovative and important industries in the UK. It has demonstrated the critical role it can play in addressing climate change and in meeting the UK’s commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050. We can be very proud of our progress, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all our members for their support and their dedication to our industry that made it possible, said Charlotte Morton.

Challenges ahead

The ADBA notes that the coming decade is a critical period for addressing the climate crisis, and AD is a vital part of the solution. While other technologies such as hydrogen and electricity for large vehicles are still in development, AD provides a ready to use technology that can be deployed now to slash emissions in hard-to-decarbonise sectors

There is, however, a lot more that we can achieve in the next 10 years. In addition to reducing the UK GHG emissions by 5 percent, we could meet 30 percent of domestic energy demand and provide 30 000 new green jobs, largely in rural areas. We have also developed world-leading expertise which gives the UK AD industry a real opportunity to be at the heart of the growing global biogas industry. With the support of our members, we will continue to work to ensure the AD and biogas industry responds effectively to both UK and global challenges and takes its rightful place in the development of a sustainable circular economy, said Morton.

Key milestones for the ADBA over the past decade include:

  • December 2009 – ADBA hosts its first National Conference
  • July 2010 – ADBA hosts its first anaerobic digestion trade show – the ADBA Trade Show
  • 2012 – ADBA publishes the first edition Practical Guide to AD  and ADBA launches the AD and Biogas Industries Awards
  • 2014 – the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association changes its name to the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association
  • 2016 – ADBA becomes of a founding member of the World Biogas Association
  • 2017 – ADBA introduces the AD Certification Scheme
  • 2018 – ADBA reaches 400 members and forms an alliance with Natural Gas Vehicle Network (NGVN) to strengthen the position of biomethane in the UK transport sector
  • 2019 – the World Biogas Summit is launched alongside the annual UK AD and World Biogas Expo

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