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What does the budget mean for AD?

At least it doesn’t take long to make it through all of the green (and not so green) measures in today’s budget.

The Chancellor’s statement that “creating a low-carbon economy should be done in a way that creates jobs – not costs them” set a similar tone to last year’s line that “environmentally sustainable has to be fiscally sustainable too.” Overall there is certainly little to comfort those seeking a strategic vision for economically and environmentally sustainable growth.

The reality is that the two are in harmony, not conflict. The green economy is one of the only sectors to have shown strong expansion over the last few years. This isn’t just about the long term – as important as it is to promote future energy and resource security – but about how we create jobs and growth now.

The biogas sector has demonstrated just that in the last few years, doubling the number of plants in the UK and developing the early stages of infrastructure which sits at the heart of the closed loop economy and sustainable farming. The industry has created jobs in construction, agriculture, waste management and more, and is bringing products and expertise to markets which will stretch far beyond our shores.

This export potential is perhaps the most significant argument for strong support from the Treasury. Growing the industry and expertise in technology which is likely to be used around the world has obvious benefits, and interest in anaerobic digestion is growing in a huge range of markets. To achieve this, a long term commitment to renewable energy support needs to be joined to coherent policy across waste and agriculture which releases the feedstock required to build the industry.

That may not be a new message, but Budget 2013 has done little to increase UK’s chances of realising growth and a greener economy.

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