ADBA responds to UK’s ‘hung’ parliament

As the shockwaves of last night’s UK General Elections are still being felt, the incumbent Tory government losing its majority and the opposition Labour party making substantial gains – leading to a hung parliament, the UK’s Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) has issued its thoughts on what the surprise results could mean for the Anaerobic Digestion industry.

“Given the new make-up of the Commons, the most likely outcome in terms of a government being formed is now a Conservative minority government supported on a 'confidence and supply' basis by the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party, who have tended to support the Conservatives on most of the legislation they've passed since the 2015 general election.” ADBA writes in a statement.

The Association sounds a note of cautious optimism on the prospects of a minority Tory government, suggesting it may force the party to stick to pledges on renewable energy and a diverse energy market. “One positive is that there's no real danger of the Conservatives moving away from their commitments to the Paris Agreement and long-term decarbonisaton given the cross-party support for both within Parliament - the election of a significant number of UKIP MPs would've been the only real threat to this.”

ADBA also suggests that the result could push the Conservatives away from the commitment to fracking that was so explicit in their manifesto. “The flip side of this is that the Government's weakened position means it is likely to find it more difficult to pass any kind of legislation, which may be harmful to the UK AD industry in the case of legislation that we support.” ADBA states.

As it has made clear previously, ADBA believes the priority for anaerobic digestion now is for new legislation to be passed on the Renewable Heat Incentive. Proposed reforms to the Incentive were set to increases the tariff for biomethane plants, however, the calling of the general election put those reforms on hold.

“…one effect of a hung Parliament is that the prospects of it being passed in the next few weeks before the summer recess are even less likely. We are aware of 13 biomethane projects in development that are now waiting for the RHI legislation to be passed in order to receive their tariff guarantee and start construction - if each of these projects was an investment of £8m, the 13 projects would amount to investments totalling £100m being delayed.”

“There's no real effect on the Feed-In Tariff, but we may well see further delays to the Government passing its Clean Growth Plan - while most opposition parties support efforts to decarbonise the economy, the prospect of them voting against government legislation such as this to undermine the Conservatives' fragile position (rather than because they oppose the legislation itself) is very real.” ADBA writes, in their assessment of the state of play of UK politics.

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