In a cross-departmental policy paper released yesterday, the Government has highlighted the economic and environmental potential of the emerging bioeconomy, estimated by last year’s House of Lords Science and Technology Committee report, ‘Waste or resource? Stimulating a Bioeconomy’, to be worth £100 billion. In particular, the paper includes a commitment to investment support for the commercialisation and scale-up of new innovation, including increased levels and accessibility of publicly available data on the UK feedstock supply chain.
ADBA Chief Executive, Charlotte Morton, commented:
The government’s recognition that ‘collection and supply mechanisms’ are needed to ensure that uncontaminated food waste is delivered to AD facilities is hugely welcome. England in particular lacks the backing for source segregated food waste collections, and that should be a priority for the next government.
The report continues to note that R&D serves to expand anaerobic digestion’s domestic and international markets, increase the efficiency and reliability of the technologies, and help deliver cost reductions. At this year’s ADBA R&D Forum on 14-15 April, we will be discussing how new technologies and techniques could double or even quadruple the AD industry’s potential.
Government funding, finance and infrastructure support will be crucial in developing and commercialising new technologies, such as biorefineries and financially viable small-scale AD plants.