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Anaerobic digestion trade body reacts to stories about Net Zero goals review by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

Anaerobic digestion trade body reacts to stories about Net Zero goals review by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

Charlotte Morton OBE, Chief Executive of the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) has commented on news stories relating to the UK Government’s review of its Net Zero commitments.

She said: “We are very concerned to hear about the impending UK Government’s review of its Net Zero ambitions. We await the Prime Minister’s official announcement with some trepidation in the hope that the urgent need to implement separate food waste collections – which has already been subjected to numerous delays – will not be adversely affected.

Mandatory separate food waste collections by Local Authorities across England will be crucial in helping deliver the full potential of anaerobic digestion to provide both energy and food security to the country, and we hope that the Government will not further hamper their implementation. Separate food waste collections also importantly help reduce food waste and encourage redistribution, therefore helping households save money, which is so important at this time of high cost of living. It would make no sense to delay any longer.


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Notes to editors

  • The Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) is the trade association for the UK anaerobic digestion (AD) and biogas industry.  ADBA’s vision is to see the full potential of the UK AD industry realised so it can help the UK achieve its emissions targets and other policy goals, creating a truly circular economy.
  • About the AD industry
    • There are currently 727 AD plants operational in the UK.
    • The entire industry digests approximately 46 million tonnes of organic material each year – organic material that would otherwise emit greenhouse gas if left untreated in landfill.
    • An estimated 19.7 TWh of biogas is produced each year by the AD industry – this green gas is either used to generate electricity and heat via a combined heat and power (CHP) unit or upgraded to biomethane and injected directly into the national gas grid. This is enough to heat 1.6 million UK homes.
    • The industry currently delivers 1% greenhouse gas savings in the UK every year.
    • An estimated 4,800 people are currently employed in the AD and biogas industry in the UK.
    • Fully deployed, by 2030, the UK AD and biogas industry expected to:
      • create 30,000 direct and 30,000 indirect jobs.
      • save the UK 27m t of CO2 equivalent = taking 1/3rd of all cars off the road, by 2030.
      • heat 4.5-6.4 million UK homes with the 8 billion m3 of biomethane generated.
  • How AD works
    Anaerobic digestion (AD) is the natural breakdown of organic matter when deprived of oxygen in a container called digester.  The process produces biogas and a residue called digestate, which can be used as a biofertiliser.  The graphic below shows the applications of biogas and digestate and circularity of the AD process.

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