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40% rise in UK biogas power production

UK on-site biogas plants increased their power generation by 40% in the last year, a survey by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has found.

According to DECC’s annual Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics, the farming sector led the rise in biogas capacity from 164MW in 2013 to 216MW in 2014.

Anaerobic digestion (AD) plants took the lead from sewage sludge in the water sector and passed 1TWh for the first time.

DECC attributed the rise in production to the doubled number of farm-based biogas plants, with 147 installed at the end of 2014, along with an increase in AD capacity for food waste.

The Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) said its own report showed a surge in the deployment of biomethane plants in 2014-2015.

‘This isn’t yet reflected in DECC’s figures,’ the group says, ‘but we would expect 2015 statistics to highlight the growth impact from the additional biomethane production.’

However, the ADBA also warned that ‘this strong progress is now at serious risk as a result of recent hostile government policy’.

ADBA cited the UK’s summer budget cuts, uncertainty over the future of the renewable heat incentive, government review of pre-accreditation for the feed-in tariff, and ongoing cuts to incentive levels as potential risk factors for the sector.