Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Assessing the Costs of Anaerobic Digestion Plant Projects

Costs of Anaerobic Digestion

The Costs of Anaerobic Digestion are, of course, what everyone thinking of embarking upon a biogas project wants to know, and at the same time very few AD Plant owners and contractors want to give out their costs to a general audience. This is quite natural, due to the commercially sensitive nature of such information.

Nevertheless, the lack of such information may be slowing the introduction of Anaerobic Digestion.

That's why, when we found the following downloadable file with information on farm waste anaerobic digestion costs we thought that we would share it. So here is the link:

6 Costs of Anaerobic Digestion - Scribd

"6 Costs of Anaerobic Digestion - Free download as PDF File (.pdf), Text File (.txt) or readfalse online for free. Waste, breakdown, farming, a method to"
Costs of Anaerobic Digestion
Having found some information on on-farm biogas plant costs we are aware that the next question is: "So what would the farm business be paying for that electricity if they were not generating it themselves/". So, we found an article which discussed the EU electricty charges which apply, and a which also includes a table of EU states electricity costs. For you information we have included that table below, however, you should also visit the original web page which is at:

Mc Dowell Purcell Solicitors Website Provides Anaerobic Digestion Electricity Costs Comparison
 comparative electricity prices
What stands out when looking at the above table, is just how low Irish electricity charges are, and the disparity between the republic and Northern Ireland, shown here is particularly marked, with Irish power charges as low as only a half of those in Northern Ireland.

The author, from Mc Dowell Purcell Solicitors, makes the point that with the notably lower electricity tariffs available in the Irish Republic, AD developers are forced to rely on income derived from gate fees in which the waste producer pays the AD plant to take the waste. The requirement for a reasonably high gate fee, before anaerobic digestion plants become financially viable, is a substantial barrier to the emergence of Irish Anaerobic Digestion Plant projects, as the gate fee is much more important for Irish plant operators due to their low electricity charges.

WRAP Data on Anaerobic Digestion Gate Fees in the UK

So, what might those gate fees which an Anaerobic Digestion Plant operator can charge to accept suitable organic waste at the site gate, amount to, we asked ourselves? Well, there is information available, and which seems to be anually updated, at the UK Government Funded WRAP website which suggests a median gate fee price in the UK for an anaerobic digestion plant, at £41/tonne in 2012.
"WRAP’s fifth annual Gate Fees report presents a summary of gate fees charged for a range of alternative waste treatment, recovery and disposal options, together with an analysis of the factors likely to influence future gate fees and comparison with last year’s report."
You can check out the WRAP report and their table of gate fees here:

 Considering that a centralized on-farm community Anaerobic Digestion Plant might operate at a throughput annually of 30,000tpa, that means that the gate fee income alone might easily amount to £125,000 annually and that is just one income stream and does not include the revenue from the power production.  

Update December 2013: We have written an additional article on this very popular subject with further anaerobic digester cost information here.

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