On the 24th of June 2021, the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA) submitted to the UK Prime Minister the UK Anaerobic Digestion (AD) and Biogas Industry Climate Declaration. The declaration outlines the industry’s commitment to doing everything in its powers to deliver the greatest possible carbon reductions for the UK, and thus support the country in achieving its Net Zero ambitions.
SLR are proud to be one of the initial 48 signatories of the declaration, which calls on the Prime Minister to create a supportive policy and regulatory framework now. The UK AD and biogas industry wants to send a clear message that it is ready to help the UK Government decarbonise the nation’s economy and meet its climate change targets, but this will only be possible with legislation firmly in place.
In its 2019 report, Biomethane: the Pathway to 2030, ADBA established that the AD industry could cut annual UK emissions by 6% by 2030. However, to do so, it needs a coherent and supportive policy strategy across the various departments involved (BEIS, Defra, DfT, Treasury). The Declaration therefore defines what is required from government to unlock the industry's full potential - fully deployed, the industry would create 60,000 new jobs.
ADBA and the 48 signatories, including SLR, are calling for the British Government and authorities in cities, regions, and nations of the UK to:
- Create an AD and green gas policy framework as soon as possible that brings together government departments' work streams into a cohesive support strategy.
- Support AD in agriculture, through the introduction of a tariff premium for the treatment of manures and slurries through AD and a renewable biofertiliser obligation.
- Support the use of biomethane in transport, through its recognition as a leading low-carbon fuel to decarbonise HGV operations, and better incentives to promote investment in the development of new biomethane plants for transport and refuelling infrastructure.
- Support small businesses and community projects in developing a circular economy, using AD to transform local waste into local heat and power.
- Establish material hierarchies for all organic wastes with AD as the optimal recycling technology.
- Target innovation funding to support key aspects of the industry that would deliver a step change in performance, reducing or eliminating the need for financial support for the sector and improving its international competitiveness.
About the AD industry
- There are currently 685 AD plants operational in the UK.
- The entire industry digests approximately 46 million tonnes of organic material each year - organic material that would otherwise emit greenhouse gas if left untreated in landfill.
- An estimated 16 TWh of biogas is produced each year by the AD industry – this green gas is either used to generate electricity and heat via a combined heat and power (CHP) unit or upgraded to biomethane and injected directly into the national gas grid. This is enough to heat 1.3 million UK homes.
- The industry currently delivers 1% greenhouse gas savings in the UK every year.
- An estimated 4,800 people are currently employed in the AD and biogas industry in the UK.
- Fully deployed, by 2030, the UK AD and biogas industry expected to:
- create 30,000 direct and 30,000 indirect jobs
- save the UK 27m t of CO2 equivalent = taking 1/3rd of all cars off the road, by 2030.
- heat 6.4 million UK homes with the 8 billion m3 of biomethane generated.
The full declaration and all of the signatories are available online: UK AD & Biogas Industry Climate Declaration.