Lord Henley reveals new details of AD funding

Defra minister Lord Henley revealed more details of his departments plans to boost the Anaerobic Digestion (AD) industry yesterday (July 7).

The minister, who was speaking at the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Associations annual expo, gave a further insight into how a £10million pot of funding will, he hopes, boost AD.

Lord Henley also told the conference he expected the British AD industry to grow as a waste solution and not along the German model with large-scale energy crop production.

The cash pot, solely for the AD sector, will be administered by the Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP).

Lord Henley told the packed conference, which is now in its second year, the economical, environmental and social aspects of AD made it a technology which needed expanding.

He said: “It’s incumbent on us to educate others as to the benefits of AD.

“My objective for this fund is to support the development of new AD … so WRAP will be targeting projects which are aimed at developing capacity and levering private sector investment.

“Projects will be assessed for financial and commercial robustness and we’re working with WRAP to consider what wider strengthening criteria might also apply.”

The minister also confirmed the fund will have four applications windows, each with a duration of three months, with the first starting starting in the summer 2011 and the final one around spring 2013.

Lord Henley also admitted he thought the German’s had taken the wrong route with AD, as he preferred the technology to be used as a waste solution rather than energy production through specific crop growth.

He added: “I don’t want to see AD developed on the German model with purpose grown crops.

“I don’t think the German model is the right one and I don’t think it’s appropriate particularly in our climate in this country.”

Luke Walsh

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