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ADBA: UK biogas industry has grown 30% year on year

Almost a third more biogas energy is being produced in the UK compared to this time last year, according to new figures from industry trade body Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA).

The AD Market Report, published at UK AD & Biogas 2016 trade show, shows that the UK now has 617MWe of biogas capacity, enough to power the equivalent of 800,000 homes.

However, the report also warns that growth in the industry has slowed, and will slow further in each of the coming four years due to government policy decisions and investment uncertainty.

Recent government decisions have reduced the new AD energy generation capacity that ADBA expects to be installed by winter 2018 by 250 MW, which is 10% of the winter 2018 capacity margin.

ADBA CEO Charlotte Morton told delegates at the trade show that the UK AD industry could be “four times bigger” given sufficient governmental support.

In particular, small scale farm AD is being reduced, despite the Committee on Climate Change recommending that it should be used to meet carbon budgets.

“The Committee on Climate Change have said that getting biodegradable waste out of landfill and using AD to cut farming emissions is crucial to meet the carbon budgets set under the Climate Change Act. It’s now time for the government to set policies which will deliver those goals,” Morton said in a speech.

The UK government is on course to close renewable electricity incentives to new AD applications in 2018.

Subject to final decisions from government this autumn, the Renewable Heat Incentive is expected to fund deployment of 10-20 new biomethane-to-grid plants from 2017, slightly down on 2015 and 2016.

The ADBA Market Report shows that there are still over 400 plants with planning permission granted or applied for.