This is despite the Committee on Climate Change’s confirmation that the UK’s climate change targets will not be met without anaerobic digestion.
The Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association says it is bewildered at DECC's decision to reduce the level of support for anaerobic digestion from the figure of £0.11/kWh published in the summer 2009 consultation document to £0.09/kWh (for plants above 500 kW). This is less than the current trading value for anaerobic digestion under the Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) scheme.
The feed-in tariff level for small scale anaerobic digestion plants (<500 kW) remains unchanged at £0.115/kWh. At this level of support there is no incentive for anaerobic digestion operators to move from the current ROC scheme to the new feed-in tariff, which was supposed to support smaller scale (<5 MW) plants looking for a simpler alternative to ROCs, ADBA says.
Farmers ready for anaerobic digestion
National Farmers’ Union Chief Renewable Energy Adviser, Dr Jonathan Scurlock, says: “Farmers are willing and ready to contribute to the low-carbon energy revolution but are deeply disappointed at this missed opportunity to encourage smaller-scale biogas production on farms.
“The multiple environmental benefits of thousands of on-farm AD [anaerobic plants] will only be rolled out if smaller farm businesses can afford them. The government seems to have ignored the advice of its own AD Task Group, and now risks upsetting next month’s AD Implementation Plan by discouraging investment from the agricultural sector.”
Rob Heap, General Manager of UTS Biogas Ltd and one of ADBA’s founder members, adds: “As a result of this decision, it is likely that between 60 and 80% of farm based plants that were being developed in anticipation of a robust feed in tariff will now not be developed.”