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Welcome to the latest issue of AD & Biogas News: 'Building a world class AD industry – A lo

There is no doubt that the UK’s anaerobic digestion industry is growing rapidly and has seen encouraging progress in recent years. However, whilst the rate of industry growth is positive, performance across the sector varies considerably. In our guest foreword (p.3) Adrian Judge from the Green Investment Bank (GIB) refers to the bank’s Anaerobic Digestion Market Report, carried out this summer, which found that, while ‘best in class’ operations were averaging load factors of above 80%, the overall industry average is only 57%. In order to attract much needed finance and improve the profitability of plants, improving operational performance across the industry is vital. Our Digester Performance feature (p14-18) highlights some of the ways to improve operational performance, including knowing your feedstock and its impact on the AD process plus safe operations and careful measuring and monitoring.

Another key consideration in the operation of an AD plant is the management of digestate. The volume of digestate being produced has inevitably increased alongside the growth of the AD industry but with this increase in material comes logistical considerations about how to store and transport this nutrient-rich digestate, as well as the need to develop new digestate products and markets. Our brand new technology feature (p.9-12) emphasises why getting these logistics right not only improves plant efficiency but can also increase a plant’s financial returns. There are plenty of innovative products and technologies in the pipeline to help here, as outlined in our technology feature (p.9-12). Such emerging innovations to improve efficiency and operational performance will be a topic of discussion at our ADBA R&D Forum taking place on 12-13 November in North Yorkshire. You can read more about the Forum in our preview on page 25.

The value of the nutrients in digestate gets the spotlight at our upcoming ADBA National Conference 2013 (3 December, Westminster) entitled ‘AD – can we afford not to recycle of phosphates?’. Key topics up for discussion at the Conference include ‘How can we demonstrate good operational performance?’ and ‘Can we afford not to recycle nutrients and organic matter?’. Government speakers from England, Wales and Scotland and top speakers from Sainsbury’s, Kier, SGN, WRAP, Thames Water and many more will discuss the key issues that will affect the industry in 2014 and beyond. Read more in our National Conference Preview on pages 20-23.

With the conference rightly highlighting the value of AD to farming and food security there is increasing concern over FIT degression and its potential to limit the growth of on farm AD. The latest FIT deployment figures have confirmed that there will be a 20% reduction in support from April 2014 for new projects up to 500 kW. We have been working hard alongside other industry associations and our members to build a strong case for Ministers to act now to address this issue and you can read more on page 4.

Also find inside this issue:

  • Work continues on PAS 110 and end of waste criteria (p.5)
  • Biomethane roundtable tackles barriers to grid injection (p.6)
  • R&D update (p.24)

I hope you enjoy this publication and find it informative. If you haven’t contributed before and would to, have a look at page three to see how you can be involved in our upcoming features. As always, if you have any views, comments or suggestions – or would like us to visit your site – please get in touch.

With best wishes,

Charlotte Morton
Chief Executive

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