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Welcome to the small-scale AD issue of AD & Biogas News

One of the biggest benefits of anaerobic digestion (AD) is that its vast range of scales enables it to deliver multiple benefits to a host of differently sized businesses, from farms and food & drink companies, to utilities and institutions. With the number of UK plants increasing by 36% last year, there can be no doubt that the AD industry as a whole is growing fast – yet while large scale, municipal facilities often attract the headlines, small and micro scale projects are now a substantial part of our AD landscape, with 27% of all UK AD plants operating on or below 250 kW, and a further 23 sub-250 kW plants in planning.

Much of the innovation within the UK AD industry is taking place at the sub-250 kW level, and our small scale AD feature takes a look at how this technology is evolving for use on-farm, in the food & drink sector, and by communities around the world, also examining the latest academic and research projects. As well as outlining the benefits enjoyed by farmers and businesses who have already installed on-site small scale AD facilities, the article also highlights exciting examples of innovation in fuel production and sanitisation, research into novel reactor designs, uses of micro scale AD to support communities, and transportable AD systems which can even be used to provide much needed aid in disaster zones around the world. Turn to pages 8-12 for full details.

However, the industry’s growth is not confined to small scale AD. A range of larger scale facilities are in the pipeline for 2014 with the biggest, Refood’s Doncaster AD plant, set to go online this summer, increasing capacity to 5 MWh. Turn to pages 22-23 to see more of the projects coming on-stream this year.

Most of the technology for the projects in our plant update will already have been selected, but choosing the right tank for an AD plant is a crucial decision. For any would-be operator or developer, our tanks technology feature offers an ideal starting point, providing an overview of the different tank types available, essential buyers’ tips, the latest innovation in tank design, and technology updates from proven technology providers. See pages18-20 for details.

Nonetheless, continued development of the UK AD industry needs more than cutting-edge technology and innovation. Without stable, long term support from government, the industry will not reach its potential and the impending degression for small scale Feed-in Tariff (FIT), one of the sector’s main financial drivers, has recently cast a shadow over the AD sector. The news that DECC Minister Greg Barker has announced of a review of this degression is welcome, but it is now crucial that we prepare a strong response in the consultation. Find out all the latest FIT news, and how to contribute to our consultation response, on page 5.

Also inside this issue:

  • Foreword by Dr Jonathan Scurlock, Chief Adviser (Renewable Energy and Climate Change), NFU (p.3)
  • ADBA National Conference 2013 Review (p.16-17)
  • R&D Update (p.33)
  • UK AD & Biogas Industry Awards 2014 – enter now (p.36)
  • ADBA’s new enhanced Farmers’ Consultancy Service (p.38)

I hope you enjoy this publication and find it informative. If you haven’t contributed before and would like to, turn to 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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