AD and biogas could boost 'painfully slow' renewables progress

The Government must do more to boost the energy from waste sector - if the UK is to meet its renewable energy ambitions, according to environmental champion Lord Redesale.

In the wake of last week's Clean Energy Ministerial in London, the Lib Dem peer and chair of the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association, said that while the coalition has set out an ambitious goal to be the 'greenest Government ever' and made some positive steps that progress towards renewables remains "painfully slow".

However, Lord Redesale said he believed the UK has the ability to become a world leader in renewables if steps are taken by the Government to meet its commitments.

As a result the peer is calling on Government to meet its promise of increasing energy from waste generated through anaerobic digestion (AD), saying that a strategy which "bridges" policy on energy and resource use is needed to achieve UK renewables targets and generate green jobs.

He said: "With the right policies biogas could deliver 10% of the UK's domestic gas demand, be worth £2-3bn to the UK economy, and support 35,000 jobs. This green growth is vital to drag Britain back out recession."

Lord Redesdale added that more recognition is also needed of the export potential of AD, saying that ministers needs to "recognise the huge export markets which we will open for British business by becoming world leaders in anaerobic digestion for waste - and renewable energy more generally."

This view is backed up by research from the Renewable Energy Association (REA) and Innovas, which revealed that the UK AD industry has an export value of £28m and a UK sector turnover of £320m.

Meanwhile, last week GWE Biogas Sandhill Biogas Plant become the fourth UK AD site to be certified under the Renewable Energy Assurance Biofertiliser Certification Scheme (BCS), which aims to provide assurance that digestate produced from AD is safe and of good quality.

Carys Matthews


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