Saturday, February 21, 2009

Defra Announces New Anaerobic Digestion Initiative

Anaerobic digestion: new energy initiative

Food Waste

Farming Minister Jane Kennedy, speaking at the annual conference of the National Farmers Union in Birmingham on 18 February 2009, announced a new joint initiative with the public and private sector to make greater use of anaerobic digestion – the technology which produces energy from organic material like food waste and manure.

Ms Kennedy said:

"We're producing more organic waste in this country than we can handle, over 12 million tonnes of food waste a year – and farmers know all too well the challenges of managing manure and slurry.

"There are alternatives to sending organic waste to landfill. Anaerobic digestion is a true solution.

"This material could produce enough heat and power to run more than two million homes – helping to prevent dangerous climate change by providing a renewable energy source as well as reducing our reliance on landfill."

A report, ‘Anaerobic Digestion – Shared Goals’, has been drawn up in discussion with a wide cross section of the business community including: agriculture and biogas industries, supermarkets, water and energy companies, the waste and food sectors, Regional Development Agencies, local government, and regulators. It sets out collective ambitions for the use of this technology.

Ms Kennedy will also convene a new Task Group, to be chaired by Steve Lee, Chief Executive Officer of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), and with members drawn from a broad range of sectors. It will lead the development of an implementation plan setting out the practical measures that Government and stakeholders will take individually and collectively to achieve these shared goals.

More here, and a link to the Defra Shared Goals Report - at least it appeared to be but was not working when we tried to access it!

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