Last week I went – as an invited observer – to a European Biogas Association (EBA) board meeting for the first time. As I’ve written before a strong voice in Europe is vital for our AD industry, not only to influence policy which affects us directly such as end of waste proposals, but also because so many of the UK’s overarching strategic goals on climate change and resource targets ultimately come from Europe.
The board meeting ran through the huge number of issues on the agenda in Europe at present, from end of waste to indirect land use change criteria for biomass sustainability. With other upcoming issues including revised renewable energy targets and the development of a reference document for Best Available Techniques for biogas (important under revised permits – see the notes from the Planning and Permitting Working Group below) the coming months are clearly going to be busy!
Of greatest importance, though, is that the EBA has a clear strategy for the industry in Europe, and for the Association itself. As ADBA’s experience in the UK has shown, having a clear vision for what AD and biogas can achieve is vital to get government recognition of the potential of the industry, and a more supportive policy environment. For any membership organisation, it’s also important to have a clear vision for the industry based on solid principles to resolve differences of opinion between competitors – and that’s probably even more important at European level, where industries differ between Member States, as the debate over End of Waste criteria has shown.
I strongly backed the idea of developing a strategy for biogas in Europe at the EBA, as I have done previously, and was pleased that this was supported by the rest of the board. We look forward to working with the EBA on this over the coming months, and helping biogas to have a much stronger voice in European policy debates.