Number of UK biomethane plants doubles from last year

The UK now has almost 90 plants injecting green biomethane into the gas grid, double the number this time last year, a new report states.

The statistics were published in the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) December 2016 Market Report, which investigates and explores the growth, developments and market changes in the AD industry to date.

The report is being launched today at the ADBA’s annual National Conference in Westminster.

“In 2015 and 2016 green gas has gone mainstream, with biomethane now heating around 170,000 homes in the UK without the householder needing to do anything differently themselves,” said Charlotte Morton, CEO of ADBA.

The report shows that the total number of AD plants in live operation has risen from 424 a year ago to 540 today, giving the UK more capacity to recycle food waste, more sustainable farming and wastewater treatment, more low-carbon baseload electricity, and more green gas.

AD has also already reduced UK greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 1% annually, the report states.

“Biomethane to grid is a real success story for the Renewable Heat Incentive, and we look forward to the government setting out its plans for the next phase of the support scheme,” Morton said.

The growth has come despite policy uncertainty around the future of low carbon energy support, which ADBA warns is stifling future growth.

Morton calls the heavy restriction on incentives for renewable electricity a “huge missed opportunity”.

“With the right support the biogas industry could deliver 250MW of new generation capacity over the next two years – enough to add 10% to our tight winter 2018 capacity margin and bring benefits to farming, recycling and the economy.

“The Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy should urgently address the feed-in tariff budget to boost investment in this vital infrastructure for reliable baseload power," she concluded.

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