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Open House | Working Groups

30 September, 2022 12:15AM - 12:16AM

Venue: Online

We gather stakeholders to tackle industry issues, find out the latest developments in the sector and directly influence government policy and regulation. For each topic, we assemble a Working Group. These can be either AD operators only or open to operators and suppliers or open to certain disciplines, such as finance. Officials attend some Working Groups sessions, for example from BEIS, Defra, EA, HSE and WRAP. Interested in joining? Come along to the Open House on 30th September to  meet other like-minded professionals and learn more about the topics. Whether or not you can attend the session, do still fill-in the form at the bottom of this page to express your interest in joining Working Groups.


Strategy segments: Policy and Technology

Description: As the UK strives to net zero, there is a growing demand from both public and private sectors to demonstrate any carbon savings delivered. Considering AD’s ability to decarbonise across multiple sectors, this working group will explore how these sources of carbon savings may be attributed to biogas and quantified within the fuel’s carbon intensity (CI). If the heat and transport sectors are to meet their decarbonisation goals, the CI of energy used must be considered. The market for BMCs already reveals that biomethane with lower CIs command higher prices. This valuation is forecast to increase further, presenting a critical opportunity for biogas to shake its dependence on subsidies.

Suggested aims:

  • To discuss methodologies used to calculate CI of biogas (e.g. REDII, LCFS)
  • To explore how CI is current valued in the voluntary and compulsory markets, and how this might change in the future
  • To assess risk of double counting carbon savings and identify ways of preventing it from occurring
  • To establish if and how bio-CO2 utilisation and storage may affect the CI of biogas
  • To better understand the CI of bio-hydrogen (with/out CCS) and its potential role in net zero

Suggested deliverables:

  • Assessment of the methodologies used to calculate CI of biogas, identifying all factors considered and their relative impact on CI
  • Establish a range of carbon intensities expected from different feedstocks (low / average / high)
  • Identify cost effectiveness of production utilising feedstock costs and carbon/energy prices
  • Develop infographic displaying key findings and present to BEIS and DfT

Expectations: Project plan, to be responsible to making sure everyone sticks to tasks and timeframe

Strategy segments: Standards and policy

Description: We are at a pivotal moment of waste policy with the imminent release of the outcome of the consistency consultation and the rollout of separate food waste collections. The industry faces a number of challenges as part of this rollout, including regional capacity levels, concerns around feedstock security in conjunction with the GGSS timeframe, and a need to reduce plastic contamination in digestate.

Suggested aims:

  • To facilitate industry response to the rollout of separate food waste collections
  • To address capacity concerns and facilitate industry response to separate food waste collections for the benefit of the AD industry so as to not promote over development leading to unfavourable market conditions
  • To facilitate valorisation of digestate by tackling one of the key factors inhibiting its uptake – plastic, and work towards the elimination of plastics being spread to land via digestate
  • To disseminate developments in understanding on plastics contamination and understand the implications for the industry
  • To coordinate ADBA’s response to food-waste policy consultations
  • To identify and promote best practise from across the industry, highlighting strong local authority/operator relationships and technological best practise
  • To tackle front-end contamination through cross-party collaboration
  • To help deliver ADBA’s contribution to WRAP’s Organic Roadmap
  • To mobilise funding to enable plants to install technologies to remove plastic contamination

Suggested deliverables:

  • Contribute to the WRAP Organics Roadmap obligations i.e., develop guidance for waste collection operators maintaining quality for commercial food waste collections
  • Communication of any relevant developments in scientific understanding of plastics
  • Publication of an ADBA position on compostable and biodegradable packaging (e.g., in line with the Plastic Planet report and requirements under the WRAP Organics Roadmap)
  • Development of a repertoire of best-practise case studies where operators, businesses, local authorities, and waste producers have worked together to drive best-practise
  • Submit a proposal to BSI for the development of a digestible standard

Strategy segments: Policy, commercial and technology

Description: The potential of the on-farm AD industry is substantial, with over 90Mt of manures and slurries and a potential 3.6Mt of pre-farm gate crop-residues available to send to AD. In doing so, significant amounts of methane can be abated while producing renewable energy to be used both on and off-grid. Despite this potential, there are significant barriers to the development of small on-farm AD and the uptake remains relatively low due to the technological and economic barriers.

Suggested aims:

  • To develop a core set of policy asks to remove the barriers to taking up small scale on-farm AD
  • To address the technological gap on on-farm AD solutions
  • To facilitate a reduction in the capex and opex of small on-farm AD to make it more financially viable

Suggested deliverables:

  • Produce a set of policy asks to create more favourable conditions uptake of small-scale AD development
  • Submit a proposal to BSI for the establishment of a small-scale AD standard to ensure farmers have confidence in such technologies

Strategy segments: Policy and commercial

Description: The wastewater sector spearheaded the development of AD in the UK, and it remains a significantly strong part of the sector. While uptake of AD is strong across the sector, there are a number of regulatory developments – namely driven by the EA and Ofwat – in progress that aim to shake-up the market.  This working group seeks to strengthen the collective voice of the industry while opening the dialogue between water companies and third parties.

Suggested aims:

  • To create an open dialogue between water companies and the wider AD industry at a time where the regulator is trying to develop the sector
  • To discuss Ofwat’s plans to introduce bid assessment frameworks and co-ordinate industry responses to water and sewage companies’ BAF consultations
  • To provide feed-in to ADBA’s response to relevant consultations

Suggested deliverables:

  • To develop an ‘ideal’ template standard for a bid assessment framework agreed between the water industry and potential third parties
  • To facilitate a coordinated response to the introduction of Bidding Assessment Frameworks by providing water companies the opportunity to engage directly with interested AD community members by presenting their BAF consultations

Strategy segments: Technology and standards

Description: Research and innovation is a crucial component to the successful growth and longevity of the AD industry. The sector has developed rapidly over the last fifty years, and knowledge and technology are expanding to further optimise plant performance, increase feedstock yields, generate hydrogen, and understand and address key sectoral issues such as ammonia emissions and plastic contamination. It’s essential that such knowledge and development is nurtured, and barriers to commercialisation are addressed.

Suggested aims:

  • To facilitate commercialisation of technologies within the UK market and regulatory context
  • To coordinate with other R&D programmes to ensure collaboration, without duplication
  • How can R&D help support sector growth


Suggested deliverables:

  • Provide ad-hoc guidance clinics to provide feedback to ADBA members developing AD technologies
  • Creation of a forum co-ordinated alongside the EBNet biotechnology working group

Strategy segments: Communications

Description: Biogas is the best kept secret – how do we change it? This working group will address the knowledge gap across a range of audiences to educate the public and shine a spotlight on the benefits and potential of anaerobic digestion (AD). Many audiences aren’t aware of or understand AD and this needs to be addressed. Furthermore, the industry can be poorly perceived due to misinformation or poor practise and needs to create effective messaging in a variety of formats to help increase awareness and address these issues.

Suggested aims:

  • To develop a targeted communications strategy to identify key audiences outside of the industry and deliver the appropriate message in the optimum way
  • To educate those outside of the industry on AD, going beyond the basics to showcase the value and benefits it delivers
  • To produce messaging designed to educate key government officials
  • To address poor perceptions and improve public opinion of the industry (e.g. bioenergy crops)
  • To respond quickly and efficiently to high-profile news articles and developments


Suggested deliverables:

  • An exercise to map out:
    • Target audiences
    • The optimum forms of communication to be used to reach each segment – i.e., the way they digest information
    • The information gap of each audience
    • The top priority messages that need to be conveyed for each segment and how these are going to be delivered. This could include a review of ADBA’s ‘beginners guides’ from 2018)
  • Coordinate industry’s response to developing stories and news articles
  • Infographics demonstrating the principles of AD and the way in which it interacts with other sectors
  • A database of informative videos that can be used for promotional purposes and media engagement
  • To determine whether there is need and funding available for a communications specialist to guide industry engagement. If yes, to pull together a brief for said specialist.


Chair: Possible chairs be suggested by the board. Chair would need to drive an industry-wide approach to the working group, manage the project plan and delivery of outcomes

Interested in joining? Come along to the Open House on 30th September to  meet other like-minded professionals and learn more about the topics. Whether or not you can attend the session, do still fill-in the form at the bottom of this page to express your interest in joining Working Groups.

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