Friday, March 19, 2010

GWE Biogas Anaerobic Digestion Plant Will Help Businesses Meet Their Obligations

This is what GWE Biogas are saying, and we have no doubt with good reason, while building their new Anaerobic Digestion plant at Sandhill, Driffield, East Yorkshire.

The following has been adapted from their March newsletter:

GWE report being delighted to see that even before operations have begun the plant is being recognised as being highly innovative by external organisations. As a part of the Environmental Transformation Fund programme administered by WRAP on behalf of DEFRA and DECC, GWE’s plant will help the UK deliver an increase in the generation of renewable energy, a reduction in the waste sent to landfill and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

They explain that their new biogas methane plant will help businesses meet their obligations, because whilst many businesses know that they need to play a part in cutting greenhouse gases, taking action to is not always a simple matter.

However, when the new Sandhill anaerobic digestion facility near Driffield comes online later this year, businesses and organisations who separately collect food waste will be able to make a difference by simply choosing to send their waste to GWE Biogas.

By converting food waste into a stream of biogas, that can then be used to generate either renewable electricity or be used directly as a renewable fuel, GWE Biogas can guarantee customers that they are maximising environmental benefit and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by the maximum amount possible.

In addition, this will often be for less than it costs to send waste to landfill.

Whilst composting processes stop the direct emission of harmful landfill gas to the atmosphere, formed by the decomposition of food waste and other organic materials, this is where the benefit stops.

The anaerobic digestion of food waste has the added value step of producing renewable energy that can displace energy produced from fossil sources.

Each kilowatt hour of grid based electricity produced results in around 500 grams of carbon dioxide emissions and so each kilowatt hour of electricity produced by the
anaerobic digestion process saves 500 grams of carbon emissions.

Visit GWE Biogas at their web site .

Saturday, March 13, 2010

An Anaerobic Digestion Scene Setter and Summary of AD Opportunities

With an ever growing list of subscribers to this blog it is a continuing challenge to provide basic information on the development of biogas production for our latest subscribers.

That is why today I bring you a link to a web site page written by Dr Michael Gell, which in my view, although put up about a year ago, still provides a pretty fair picture of AD technology and market developments plus opportunities.

Here's the introduction to the article, and if you want more, the link is at the bottom of this post:

Supermarkets are trialling anaerobic digestion as a way to generate energy and minimise their waste, and soon the biological process could have a far wider reaching application

With a spate of announcements on anaerobic digestion (AD) – from supermarkets using the biological process to handle their organic waste to the building of a national AD biogas network - something seems to be exercising decision makers. Are those bacteria that digest food waste at last going to be harnessed to their full potential? Dr Michael Gell examines the potential for AD to kick-start the building of an integrated biowaste infrastructure and to become one of the star technologies feeding energy into a renewables supergrid.

Topics discussed are:

What is Anaerobic Digestion?
How does AD work?
AD as a production process
How widely is AD being used?
Recognising the potential for AD
Turning waste into useful products
What are the environmental benefits of AD?
Economic opportunities with AD
What is driving the surge in interest in AD?
Who are the key stakeholders for a national AD infrastructure?
Carbon footprints in the food waste chain
What are the supermarkets doing?
Is AD commercially feasible?
What are the prospects for a renewable gas network?
What innovations might we expect with AD technology?

Go to's AD Page.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Make Digestate from Source Segregated Biowastes Using PAS110 and it isn't a Waste Material

The new PAS110 protocol is good news for those Anaerobic Digestion Plant operators that utilize a solely green waste (eg source segregated garden waste) feed source because UK regulators have been confirming this month that within a set of specific criteria they will not apply formal waste regulatory controls to these digestates.

The suitable waste input list includes:
  • Source segregated biowastes
  • Biodegradable non-waste materials
  • Allows for packaged biowaste.
(See Nina Sweet link below)

This is great news. It means that it is then much easier to use this material as for example a fertilizer, and spread it on land.

When any material is designated as a waste, it is not only the additional burden of the regulatory measures themselves which are essential for compliance with the Waste Regulations. It is also the cost of additional record keeping and monitoring, plus the Waste License fees, which are a big negative for potential users and sellers as well.

I imagine that it will especially help farmers who take in green waste from the local council and wish to produce biogas from it in on-farm digestors.

PAS110 is known as the Quality Protocol for Anaerobic Digestate and it was published in its final form January 2009. In the last few weeks it has received approval by the European Commission.

This reclassification of this type of digestate as a product and not a waste, will no doubt prompt a new generation of biogas digesters of the best kind, using green waste biomass rather than food crops.

The BSI PAS 110 safety standard is however, not entirely free of constraints and there are costs in the necessary monitoring required by the standard to assure the high quality of digestate produced from these biogas digesters.

More information is available at:

The WRAP Anaerobic Digestion PAS110 Guide download page

SEPA Waste regulation web site (Scotland)

AD Centre Wales PAS110 features Nina Sweet's document

Let's Recycle's Anaerobic Digestion page (scroll to the bottom)

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Renewable Energy Association UK REA Names Gaynor Hartnell as Chief Executive

Gaynor Hartnell 2010The Renewable Energy Association is the largest trade body for renewable energy in the UK and represents all renewable energy technologies.  Gaynor Hartnell, who was formerly Director of Policy at the Association, has just been appointed as Chief Executive.

Mark Candlish, Chair of the REA’s board of directors said;

REA Press release
2010/02/23 16:00:37.374 GMT
“I am delighted to announce the appointment of Gaynor Hartnell as the Association’s new Chief Executive.  Gaynor has been key to the success of the Association since it was founded in 2001, and in the last 10 months has proved herself the natural successor to Philip Wolfe in her interim role as Policy Director.  Not only does Gaynor have an excellent grasp of renewable policy issues, but she is also well respected by industry and government and is an excellent champion for the industry.”
Gaynor Hartnell said;
“I am very much looking forward to leading the Association and building up its membership base.  These are exciting times for the sector.  This has to be the decade of delivery for renewables, the time when deployment ramps up tenfold.  New players will enter and transform the energy market, with the introduction of feed in tariffs this April.  A year later we will finally have financial incentives operating across the whole spectrum of energy applications - power, transport fuels, heat and green gas.  Renewables can then play a full role, with a diverse range of complementary technologies, which together bring wide-ranging benefits.”

The Association will shortly move into much larger offices in the Capital Tower, next to Waterloo Station.  This will facilitate the expansion of services needed to support the rapidly growing renewables industry with information services, proactive policy development, training and networking events.

Paul Thompson has been promoted to Head of Policy.  Paul joined the REA in 2008 to work on transport fuels, and over the past few months has extended his remit to cover the Renewable Heat Incentive and Renewables Obligation.