Friday, November 03, 2017

IADAB News Weekly - Edition 7: New UK GreenForty AD Plant in Planning, Spent Mushrooms as Feedstock and an Apology

Date: 3 November 2017

This is Issue 7 of IADAB News Weekly where we summarise the most important news of the week in the fast developing Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Industry, both in the UK and globally.

This week we report on a new UK GreenForty AD Plant which is now in Planning in Scotland, look briefly at some research which has given the green-light to using spent mushroom substrate as a biogas plant feedstock, and we also include the full details of an apology.

The apology was issued by the UK's Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association. ADBA appear to have been concerned that the Press Release which they published and we carried last week, was unintentionally capable of being read as criticism of individuals on a certain committee.

Apparently, ABDA wish to make it clear that in-fact decision to delay was made by the whole government. The whole UK government, they say, was responsible for the decision to again delay the reinstatement of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) for biogas plants.

Alright, let’s get started…

The following is our intro video. Watch the intro video below, for a taster of what you will read if you scroll down below the video:


That new announcement about new AD Plants seem to be rare nowadays, probably does say something about depressed state of new biogas plants in the UK.
The industry waits, and waits, for any government action on renewal of the subsidies that they say they are implementing and unsurprisingly few project developers are starting new AD projects. The exception this week is a project in the East Lothian Region of Scotland, as follows:

1. Planning Application for the erection of an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant

The application includes ancillary equipment, on-site infrastructure and associated works at Bangley Quarry Huntington Haddington East Lothian EH41 3SN via (AD) plants
Anaerobic digester plans have been submitted by GreenForty Development Limited. The company has submitted plans a facility which would use a variety of feedstocks – such as grass silage, hybrid rye, straw and vegetable processing residues – to produce renewable gas.
“Brewery and distillery by-products will be procured and delivered as available."
Once the biogas is produced, it would be ‘captured’; with most of it sent to a clean-up plant where it would be purified and upgraded before being put into the gas network.
The residual feedstock material would then be spread on farmland as a bio-fertiliser. via Anaerobic digester plans

The next item is from academia which reports on research into the anaerobic digestion of an, as far as we are aware, novel biomass source.

2. Anaerobic digestion of spent mushroom substrate under thermophilic conditions: performance and microbial community analysis

Spent mushroom substrate (SMS) is the residue of edible mushroom production occurring in huge amounts.
The SMS residue can be digested for biogas production in the mesophilic anaerobic digestion. In the present study, performance of batch thermophilic anaerobic digestion (TAD) of SMS was investigated as well as the interconnected microbial population structure changes. 
This study shows that TAD is a feasible method to handle the waste SMS. via Digestion of spent mushroom substrate


3. Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association Press Release Complains About Yet More UK Government Delays in Subsidy Restitution and then Apologises

In issue 6 of IADAB News Weekly we carried this Press Release. We are now compelled to re-publish it, in order to include the subsequent apology.

The Press Release and the Apology follows:

PRESS RELEASE: Renewable heat legislation delay threatens climate goals

Legislation on Renewable Heat Incentive delayed yet again due to Parliamentary backlog

25 October 2017 -
  • Government struggling to meet targets to decarbonise heat
  • Further delay threatens building of AD plants that produce renewable heat


The Chief Executive of the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA) has described the government’s decision to further delay the tabling of legislation to support renewable heat generation as ‘a significant threat to the UK’s ability to meet its climate goals’.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) confirmed at the end of last week that the tabling of legislation to reform the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), the government’s principal mechanism for incentivising the generation of renewable heat, will now not take place until the beginning of 2018.

The legislation was originally due to be voted on in the spring of 2017 but was delayed after the government called a snap general election. It was then due to be introduced in the autumn, but has been delayed yet further due to the delay in re-establishing the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, a backlog in the legislative timetable following June’s general election, and a vast requirement for legislation related to Brexit.

The proposed RHI legislation would restore tariffs for the production of renewable heat to previously higher levels, facilitating the construction of anaerobic digestion (AD) plants that can produce renewable biogas, which can be upgraded to biomethane for injection into the gas grid. Millions of pounds of investment in AD plants is currently on hold, waiting for clarity and certainty from government.

AD treatment specialists Clearfleau Ltd have written directly to BEIS Secretary Greg Clark urging action on the legislation, stating that the setback is 

“delaying injection of significant volume of biogas generated from industrial residues into the gas grid, limiting the ability to curb UK carbon emissions.”

ADBA also understands that BEIS is considering imposing restrictions on the amount of investment in renewable heat that can receive a guaranteed tariff rate. Some AD developers that have invested around £100,000 in reaching the stage where they can apply for a guarantee in reliance on the promised higher tariff rates may therefore face the prospect of missing out on government support entirely.

ADBA Chief Executive Charlotte Morton said:

"This further delay to the passing of the RHI legislation is another unnecessary blow to a vital industry that can make a large contribution to meeting the UK’s targets for decarbonising heat, to which the government has to date made very little progress. This delay not only puts millions of pounds of investment at risk but on a wider level is a significant threat to the UK’s ability to meet its climate change goals.
I’ve written directly to ministers at BEIS urging them to rethink their decision to delay the legislation further and to reiterate the damaging effect that this further delay will have on the AD industry and its ability to help decarbonise the UK’s gas grid.
We’re also very concerned at the suggestion from BEIS of new restrictions on the number of AD plants that can receive tariff guarantees. BEIS needs to ensure that it doesn’t punish AD for offering a clean and cost-effective way to heat our homes and businesses."

The ADBA Apology:

[​Please note that ADBA’s press release dated 25/10/17 (‘Renewable heat legislation delay threatens climate goals – ADBA’) contained an unintentionally misleading statement. 

We would like to make the following correction:

Charlotte Morton’s quote ‘I’ve written directly to ministers at BEIS urging them to rethink their decision to delay the legislation further’ is misleading as the decision to delay the RHI legislation would not have been one taken by BEIS ministers.

To clarify, ADBA believes that the decision to delay the RHI legislation lays not with BEIS ministers but rather with the government as a whole, as the government is able to prioritise which pieces of legislation are tabled when. 

We apologise for making an inaccurate implication, and accept that we should have been more careful and accurate in the language used.] via ABDA PR Room

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