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UK biomethane production doubled 2016

The UK now has almost 90 plants injecting biomethane into the gas grid, double the number this time last year, according to a new report published by the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA).

Biomethane goes mainstream in the UK. Currently 86 projects have applied for support under the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) according to ADBA's market report (illustration courtesy ADBA).

Biomethane goes mainstream in the UK. Currently 86 projects have applied for support under the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) according to ADBA’s market report (illustration courtesy ADBA).

The UK now has almost 90 plants injecting biomethane into the gas grid, double the number this time last year, according to a new report published by the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) and released yesterday.

The report, “December 2016 Market Report” investigates and explores the growth, developments and market changes in the UK AD industry was launched at the ADBA’s annual National Conference in Westminster. It shows that the total number of AD plants in live operation has risen from 424 a year ago to 540 today, giving the UK more capacity to recycle food waste, more sustainable farming and wastewater treatment, more low-carbon baseload electricity, and more biomethane in the gas grid. It has also already reduced UK greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by nearly 1 percent annually.

Green gas goes mainstream

The growth has come despite policy uncertainty around the future of low carbon energy support, which ADBA warns is stifling future growth.

– In 2015 and 2016 green gas has gone mainstream, with biomethane now heating around 170 000 homes in the UK without the householder needing to do anything differently themselves. Biomethane to grid is a real success story for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), and we look forward to the government setting out its plans for the next phase of the support scheme, commented Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of ADBA.

Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of the UK’s Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) here speaking at the European Biogas Association (EBA) conference in September 2016.

Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of the UK’s Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) here speaking at the European Biogas Association (EBA) conference in September 2016.

Incentives for renewable electricity, however, are heavily restricted, which the ADBA says is a “huge missed opportunity”.

– With the right support the biogas industry could deliver 250MW of new generation capacity over the next two years – enough to add 10 percent to our tight winter 2018 capacity margin and bring benefits to farming, recycling and the economy. BEIS should urgently address the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) budget to boost investment in this vital infrastructure for reliable baseload power, said Morton.

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