Privilege Finance launches updated manifesto following “monumental” industry changes

Privilege Finance has released an updated renewable energy from waste manifesto, following a series of “monumental changes” that have impacted the industry in 2020.

Chris Winward, chief commercial officer at Privilege, said the manifesto reviews the industry’s progress from social, economic, and environmental perspectives, and shared his thoughts on the effect of government policy changes and COVID-19.

“As with most sectors, the pandemic has impacted energy-from-waste businesses,” said Winward. “However, the sector has overwhelmingly proved its resilience. For example, most anaerobic digestion (AD) plants were able to continue producing gas or electricity through the lockdown period, despite some disruptions to the supply of the waste materials used as feedstock.

“We’ve also seen an extension to the renewable heat incentive (RHI) tariff guarantee until 2021, plus government consultations on future support for biogas. We hope the results from these will bring increased stability for the sector.”

As well as policy changes, 2020 has seen new information emerge and increased understanding of the potential of AD. In March, the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association reported that if AD receives the support it needs, it will be able to process 170 million tonnes of waste for renewable energy and generate 8 billion m3 of biomethane, enough to heat 6.4 million homes.

Winward added: “Another cause for optimism is that climate change and the potential for a green recovery have captured the attention of the general public, creating appetite for change like never before, although this does not prevent objections to individual developments.

“As an industry, we must continue to raise awareness of the benefits associated with energy from waste.  This will be key to breaking down barriers, such as negative perceptions of the technologies, and should enable more new projects to gain traction if community stakeholders are on-side.”

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