Where there’s muck, there’s brass: Biogas investors feature in Sunday Times Rich List 2017

Two biogas investors feature in the top 100 of the Sunday Times Rich List 2017.

The Sunday Times Rich List for 2017 was published yesterday (7 May, 2017) and it reveals the richest people in the UK.

Steve Lansdown, a former accountant who co-founded a sustainable technology international fund management business, is worth around £1.48bn (€1.75bn). He is number 86 on the list.

Sustainable Technology Investments (Guernsey) was founded by Gordon Power and Lansdown in 2009 to provide capital for and mentoring to fund managers and businesses whose primary focus is renewable energy efficiency and sustainable technology.

Anaerobic digestion

Sustainable Technology Investment is a shareholder in the largest UK anaerobic digestion developer Tamar Energy which completed a £65m equity financing in February 2012 and a merger with Adgen Energy. Adgen Energy was set up in 2009 by Fredrik Adams and Dan Poulson as a renewable energy project development company, formed to develop and finance renewable energy plants (biogas from anaerobic digestion, 'AD') across the UK.

London-headquartered Tamar Energy opened its fifth AD plant last year in Hertfordshire. This facility aims to transform as much as 66,000 tonnes of food waste a year into a biofertiliser and renewable energy from up to 6,000 homes.

Rich pickings

Elsewhere, Georg and Emily Von Opel also feature on the Sunday Times rich list and are worth £1.416bn. Their wealth has gone up by £16m from last year and they feature 92 on the list.

Von Opel is a director of two UK green energy operations, GVO Wind and Hemswell Biogas. Much of the Opel family is held in Hansa, a holding firm with assets of about £1.416bn. A great-grandson of Adam Opel, founder of the German car maker, Von Opel owns all of Hansa, whose interests include a Swiss hotel chain and shopping centres in Russia and Algeria.

He and his English wife, Emily, divide their time between Britain and Switzerland.

Hemswell Biogas is a large processor of food waste located in Lincolnshire, and has been designed to handle a wide range of waste feedstocks. Through the AD process it utilises the waste as a raw material to create methane, which in turn is used to generate electricity that is 100% renewable and exported to the National Grid.

This story was written by Liz Gyekye, editor of Bioenergy Insight.

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