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AD electrical capacity surges beyond 500MWe

The anaerobic digestion (AD) industry now delivers an electrical equivalent capacity (electricity and biomethane) of 514 megawatts across 411 plants in the farming, waste and water sectors.

Commenting on this substantial progress, ADBA’s Chief Executive, Charlotte Morton, said:

Last month I announced a new industry milestone following the unveiling of the UK’s 400th biogas plant.

ADBA’s market data now shows that AD offers over 500MWe electrical equivalent capacity – more capacity than one of the UK’s nuclear power plants, Wylfa, which is being decommissioned this year.

This capacity is extremely valuable because AD generates low carbon baseload or dispatchable power, helping to keep the lights on and balance the output from intermittent renewables such as wind and solar. The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change has rightly said that providing baseload is one of her department’s priorities, and biogas should be seen as an important component to our energy security.

Despite this, however, further growth in capacity is being hindered by the government’s decisions to remove Levy Exemption Certificates (LECs) in the summer budget – a cut that ADBA estimates will cost the AD industry £11 million – and to fast-track a four week consultation aimed at removing pre-accreditation from the Feed-in Tariff.

To continue to expand the industry needs viable support in the forthcoming FIT review, and an RHI budget which will support new green gas. AD has the potential to meet 30 per cent of UK domestic gas demand, and overall it could cut UK greenhouse gas emissions by four per cent and support food security and production.

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