Saturday, March 02, 2019

UK FiT Fade Out - 5 Anaerobic Digestion Advantages UK Tory Ministers Ignored

First, watch our video to find out the 5 advantages government ministers ignored:



ADBA PRESS STATEMENT, Posted on 20 Jul, 2018: 

Anaerobic digestion industry response to Feed-In Tariff consultation

Responding to the government's new Feed-In Tariff (FIT) consultation, Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA), said:
With the Feed-In Tariff (FIT) confirmed to close in just nine months’ time, this was an opportunity for the government to prove that it is committed to providing the investment that is absolutely critical to supporting small-scale renewables, which make a vital contribution to decarbonising and meeting increased demand for electricity in the UK. 
Unfortunately, this is an opportunity that has been well and truly missed. As well as providing renewable baseload power, anaerobic digestion (AD) combined heat and power (CHP) under the FIT has been vital in helping to decarbonise the farming sector. 
With the government no longer providing direct for support for the generation of renewable electricity, on-farm AD will struggle to deliver its numerous non-energy benefits, which include reducing emissions from wastes, improving air quality and resource management, and restoring soils through the production of nutrient-rich biofertiliser. 
This also puts at severe risk the more than 300 AD CHP plants currently in the planning pipeline. It’s therefore vital that the government rethinks its baffling decision to have no new low-carbon electricity levies until 2025, which risks creating a valley of death that small-scale technologies such as AD could easily fall into.
So, how did we arrive at this point?

UK FiT (Feed-in-Tariff) Fade-Out Starts on 31 March 2019

The story so far on the UK government closure of the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) which was introduced in the 2000s to encourage the adoption of renewable energy technology in the UK.

31 March 2019, marks the date after which no more new schemes will be considered for the subsidy. 

Existing schemes will be honoured. They will still be paid-out-on over the original individual durations of scheme agreements.

Nobody would seek to suggest that overall the FiT has not been successful, given that the UK is currently not only complying with its targets for renewable energy, but exceeding them.

However, many in the UK biogas industry would argue that the FiT or a replacement scheme for biogas, should have been introduced.

This is given the youthfulness of the technology (younger in development than wind and solar technologies), and the additional benefits of anaerobic digestion, which are unique.

These are benefits which will assist the government to comply with targets for climate change abatement, air quality, and agricultural emissions for example.

In the following excerpts we have endeavored to tell the story of the FiT wind-down which was started by the UK government started in the summer of 2018.

UK's Feed In Tariff fade out confirmed

July 24, 2018: The UK’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has set out a proposal to close the country’s Feed-In-Tariffs (FITs) scheme.
In the proposal, the scheme would be closed to new applications after 31 March 2019. Feed-In-Tariffs are the UK government’s subsidy scheme for generation of renewable electricity from small-scale low-carbon installations. Both anaerobic digestion and combined heat and power (CHP) agricultural installations have been greatly supported by the Scheme.

The government is hosting a consultation until 13 September 2019 on the proposed changes. An impact assessment has been released to accompany the consultation.

According to the consultation, the FIT scheme was introduced to support the widespread adoption of small scale (up to 5MW) low-carbon electricity generating technologies, intending to give the wider public a stake in the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Original 2010 deployment projections, ‘both in terms of numbers of installations and installed capacity’, have been exceeded, the government reporting over 800,000 installations confirmed on the Central FIT Register as of March 2018. via Bioenergy Insight

Meanwhile other Nations have been Introducing Feed-in-Tariffs, and even increasing them, as in the following examples:

New Irish Feed-in Tariff Promotes Biogas Potential

In the course of 2017, Ireland intends to initiate the energy reform with a new feed-in tariff for renewable energies. The government plans to increase the amount of green electricity from the current figure of about 23 percent to 40 percent by 2020. 

Image shows Feed-in-Tariff Fade Out despite many anaerobic digestion advantages.
Watch on YouTube here.
The tariff system is to establish a favourable environment for biogas plant operation. In view of the extensive agricultural and waste resource potential available in Ireland, WELTEC BIOPOWER UK will showcase its AD plant technologies at the Energy Now Expo Ireland, which will be held in the end of October in The Hub in Kilkenny.

In early September, the Irish Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment (DCCAE) announced the adoption of a new subsidy regime to promote renewable energies, to be known as the Renewable Energy Support Scheme (RESS). 

So far, Ireland has been the only European country without an incentive scheme for heat from renewable sources

However, the green island has to meet EU requirements by 2020. This means that 16 percent of Ireland‘s total energy needs for power, heat and traffic must be provided from renewable energies. This is to be achieved by making use of all green energy sources available in the country. Biogas is to play a key role especially in meeting the individual goals for the heat and transport sector. via Ireland Promotes Biogas

France increases biogas tariffs

July 31, 2015: France is set to increase its feed-in tariffs for biogas installations and small photovoltaic (PV) systems, says the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy.

The feed-in tariff for electricity produced by cogeneration installations running on biogas will be raised for both new and existing installations.

On a project basis, depending on individual size and feedstock used, the increase will be between 10 and 20%.

A 300 kW anaerobic digestion unit that uses cow manure from approximately 200 cows, for example, will increase its annual income by between €40,000 and €50,000.

France recently also adopted a law to set an ambitious target of sourcing 32% of its energy demand from renewable sources by 2030. via BioenergyInsightMagaz

Feed-in tariffs in Australia - Solar Only

Feed-in tariffs in Australia are the feed-in tariffs (FITs) paid under various State schemes to non-commercial producers of electricity generated by solar photovoltaic (PV) systems using solar panels. 

They are a way of subsidising and encouraging uptake of renewable energy and in Australia have been enacted at the State level, in conjunction with a federal mandatory renewable energy target.

Australian FIT schemes tend to focus on providing support to solar PV particularly in the residential context, and project limits on installed capacity (such as 10 kW in NSW) mean effectively that FITs do not support large scale projects such as wind farms or solar thermal power stations. via Wikipedia

FiT in Japan

Since its enforcement in 2012, purchase prices of FiT have been re-examined every year. As a result, that for solar PV has been lowered and some new categories have been created for wind, hydro and biomass.

On April 2017, the FIT scheme was partially amended. This amendment introduces a new approval system for renewable power generation projects that require grid connection agreement with the utility beforehand. via Solar PV auction

No FiT Schemes Exist in the US - Only Renewable Portfolio Standards


A state renewable portfolio standard (RPS) encourages or requires utilities to use or buy renewable energy or renewable energy certificates (RECs) to account for a certain portion of their retail electricity sales by a certain date. A REC is a tradable certificate documenting that 1 megawatt-hour of renewable electricity was generated at a specific facility. The goal of an RPS is to stimulate market and technology development so that renewable energy can become more competitive with conventional forms of electric power. A state RPS helps create market demand for renewable energy.

Generally, electricity suppliers can meet the RPS targets by:
Owning a renewable energy facility and its output generation.
Purchasing RECs.
Purchasing electricity from a renewable facility.

Biogas from anaerobic digesters often qualifies as renewable energy under the biomass category of state RPS systems. via AgSTAR

Read our 5 Anaerobic Digestion Advantages article here.

View the above video on YouTube here.

Attribution of Images in Video:

This video presentation (top of page) contains images that were used under a Creative Commons License. Click here to see the full list of images and attributions.

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