Update on the State of Anaerobic Digestion in the UK with the Latest Number of Operational PlantsAnaerobic digestion (AD) mostly uses existing waste feedstocks, at times partly with purpose-grown crops, helping to reduce carbon emissions from waste, energy use, agriculture, and any business with access to organic waste:
1. Waste: by converting it into less harmful forms, including reducing odors when spread on land
2. Heating: by providing hot water for heating buildings, drying crops etc
3. Electricity use: by providing renewable biogas for electricity generation
4. Agriculture: by providing biogas for use as fuel for farm machinery.
5. Any business: which creates waste organic material (biomass) or has access to it.
That’s why Anaerobic Digestion (AD) is a key part of a low-carbon emissions future, in a circular economy that turns wastes into renewable resources.
Anaerobic Digestion's in the Production of Low-carbon MethaneAD has a potentially important role to play in the production of low-carbon methane.
When biogas is upgraded (purified) the “biomethane” output could meet 30% of the UK’s domestic gas demand.
At the same time this would abate 50 million tonnes of Carbon dioxide-equivalent over the next 25 years, as well as helping to provide energy and food security.
In the past 10 years, the AD industry has grown from a capacity of 170 megawatts electrical-equivalent (MWe-e) in to 899 MWe-e today.
There are 648 AD plants across the country, producing renewable energy and natural fertilizer.
AD Growth is Mostly in Biomethane Production
These new facilities should add enough additional capacity to power almost 200,000 homes each year.
Production of biomethane as a transport fuel is also being facilitated by the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation.
AD Facilities Growth in Recycling Inedible Food WasteIn addition. the number of AD facilities recycling inedible food waste is likely to grow over the next decade as more local authorities in England introduce separate food waste collections in the wake of legislation proposed in the Resources and Waste Strategy (published in Autumn 2018).
AOBA estimates that the amount of food waste diverted from landfill as a result could lead to 80 new food-waste AD facilities.
This would increase UK biogas industry Capacity by 187MWe-e (the equivalent of Fellside Power Station), reducing CHG by emissions by 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent - or 2.4 per cent.
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