Ups and downs – ADBA predicts lower biomethane growth in 2017, and recovery in 2018

The UK’s Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association has scaled down its expectations for biomethane growth for 2017, but expects a rebound in 2018.

Previously, ADBA projected between ten and 25 new biomethane plants to be commissioned in 2017. Now, according to a statement, that figure has been revised down to between eight and 20.

Delays in reforming the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) tariff are a major factor for the revised projections. Currently, the RHI tariff offered for Tier 1 biomethane plants (those injecting up to 40GW/h per year) is at 3.56p/kWh. Reforms were set to raise the tariff to 5.35p/kWh, but the calling of the UK General Election meant the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has been unable to submit the RHI reforms to Parliament.

ADBA is optimistic that a new department minister would be supportive of the tariff, however they also believe there is a risk that any post-election transition could delay the passing of the legislation until autumn.

“The delay to the proposed new legislation means that many biomethane projections have been delayed, and are likely to be pushed back to next year. Therefore after slower growth in 2017, we expect the market to rebound in 2018.” ADBA writes in a statement.

ADBA still expects some 20 new biomethane plants to be built in the next few years. They also state that they’re aware of 57 biomethane plants at various stages in the planning process.

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