The UK’s anaerobic digestion (AD) generation capacity has passed the 500MW milestone, according to the latest figures from the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA). The trade body yesterday revealed 514MW of electrical equivalent capacity is generated as electricity or biogas from more than 400 AD plants across the farming, waste, and water sectors. “ADBA’s market data now shows that AD offers over 500MWe electrical equivalent capacity – more capacity than one of the UK’s nuclear power plants, Wylfa, which is being decommissioned this year,” she said. “This capacity is extremely valuable because AD generates low carbon baseload or dispatchable power, helping to keep the lights on and balance the output from intermittent renewables such as wind and solar.” However, the body warned that a government decision to remove the Levy Exemption Certificates (LEC) that allowed renewable power to avoid the Climate Change Levy imposed on businesses could cost the industry up to £11m, while a review of the pre-accreditation for the feed-in tariff (FiT) subsidy scheme could hamper further growth. “To continue to expand, the industry needs viable support in the forthcoming FiT review, and an Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) budget that will support new green gas,” Morton said. “AD has the potential to meet 30 per cent of UK domestic gas demand, and overall it could cut UK greenhouse gas emissions by four per cent and support food security and production.”
A college in Hampshire has teamed up with green energy supplier Ecotricity to build an anaerobic digestion (AD) mill on campus, it was announced yesterday. Sparsholt College has announced its intention to build a Green Gas Mill after receiving support from clean energy company Ecotricity and a grant from the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership. Ecotricity said the 6MW plant will convert locally harvested grass into carbon neutral green gas, providing enough energy to supply renewable heat to almost 5,000 homes each year. The gas created will be used to supply both the college and local residents. The AD plant would be the latest in a series of green developments from the college, which has already installed a rooftop solar array and last year submitted plans to build a 500KW wind turbine at its site. Tim Jackson, college principal, said the development would put the college at “the centre of what is the future of gas generation in Britain”.
Although Anaerobic Digestion has been around for decades, many farmers have not heard of it. This article looks at both the process and the main advantages of anaerobic digestion.
First Milk, one of the UK’s largest cheese creameries, has announced the completion of the first phase of construction of a bio-energy plant at its dairy factory in Cumbria. Once operational in early 2016, the plant will generate 1000m3 of biogas a day from waste dairy residue. Some bio-methane will be used in the creamery for steam generation, reducing the factory’s annual energy cost by 25%, providing around 40m kwh a year and saving 7,000 tonnes of carbon. The rest of the gas will be sent into the grid, making the Cumbria factory the first dairy processing site in Europe to deliver biogas to the grid.
A Waitrose dairy farm in Hampshire is now generating its own renewable energy after installing a 186 KWp solar array on the roof of a milk parlour. Waitrose’s Leckford Estate farm expects the array to save around 7 tonnes of CO2 annually and provide enough energy to power the equivalent of 40 local houses. Hampshire solar firm Hive Energy will supply the installation at no upfront cost to Leckford Estate thanks to a power-purchasing agreement. Hive will recoup its investment through revenue from the Feed-in Tariff.
A private preparatory school in Stratford-upon-Avon has cut the ribbon on a new biomass boiler that will slash its carbon emissions and its energy bills, without paying any upfront costs. The Croft School installed a new boiler through Forest Fuels’ “fully funded” scheme. The boiler is expected to generate 700MWh of heat, avoiding 20,000 kilograms of carbon emissions per year.
The answer to UK energy security could literally be under our noses. Green energy company Ecotricity says it has found a way to produce gas from grass,l offering a viable alternative to fracking. After several years of research and development Ecotricity has this week announced that it has come up with a concept that uses anaerobic digestion to turn grass sourced from marginal land on farms into biogas, which is then purified into biomethane and fed straight into the national grid. The process is said to also result in the production of a fertiliser that will go back onto the farmers’ fields and help to improve soil quality.
WITH THE reduction in feed-in tariffs for new renewable energy projects as the number of installations increase, there is a view that if you are not already on board you have missed the boat. This may be the case for more marginal sites, but good sites can still provide an attractive return when compared with other investments on the farm. With all the pressures on farm incomes from CAP reform etc, the option of having an additional income stream from a renewables project where the income can be predicted for 20 years is an attractive one to many.
Plans for a £25m biomass plant and heat network at the University of St Andrews have received a major boost after the scheme secured the final £11m financing required to start construction. The Scottish Government confirmed Friday that money would be invested through the Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centres (SPRUCE) fund, which is a joint Scottish Government and European Regional Development initiative, managed by Amber Infrastructure.
It’s not just the Scottish government who are striving to ensure sustainable energy resources for subsequent generations – landowners and rural businesses are determined to play their part in helping the government meet its 2020 target. According to research commissioned by Scottish Land & Estates, across 277 estates that participated in our study, there are plans to introduce or increase renewable energy projects by more than 300 installations. Overall, the research found that nearly 40 per cent of the estates who took part in the research were currently involved in the generation of renewable energy, either as a principal or as host for a third party business. Hydro power featured prominently amongst respondents, with plans to construct 55 new installations on estates across Scotland whilst increasing the capacity on 24 existing schemes.