Biogas and AD ‘can create 60k jobs this decade’


Anaerobic digestion of agricultural slurry can puff up Britain’s greening energy jobs market, while pumping 6% out of the nation’s carbon bubble by 2030, a trade body has claimed.

AD on its own can make up 30% of the gap between the reductions the CCC’s 5th Carbon Budget said in 2015 that the UK needs, and revisions set out in last week‘s CCC Progress Report to Parliament 2021, or so the AD and Bioresources Association (ADBA) maintains.

The body’s submission this week to the Johnson government urges its delivery, not dither, on specifics of carbon reduction.

The ADBA thus echoes impatience from energy market participants from the Climate Change Committee downwards, at the inadequacy of the government’s follow-through on its rhetoric.

ADBA argues a “coherent and supportive policy strategy across the various departments involved – Beis, Defra, DfT, Treasury -” is needed, if potential identified in the lobbyists’ 2019 report, Biomethane: The Pathway to 2030 is to be seized.

Slurry, with a blond fringe on top

The body’s key steps sought from Johnson and his ministers include:

  • a policy framework for green gas, binding as soon as possible government work streams into a cohesive strategy
  • a renewable biofertiliser obligation on farmers, coupled with a tariff premium for the use of manures in AD
  • more biomethane in transport, including for decarbonising HGVs
  • ‘material hierarchies’ covering recycling of all organic waste, with AD promoted as the ‘optimal’ technology

ADBA chief executive Charlotte Morton pointed to the ‘huge gap’ between the Government’s ambitions on decarbonisation, and its policy reality.

“Only ..if the British Government acts now”, Morton declared, can mitigation be achieved, including of harmful methane from organic waste.

Though not AD-powered, one of Britain’s biggest agriculture projects is on the stocks for near Ely, in Cambridgeshire.

A 22-hectare greenhouse, big enough to grow 10% of the nation’s cucumbers, was announced to investors by Fulcrum, an infrastructure developer.  For financiers Greencoat Capital, the developer will install water-sourced heat pumps drawing from a nearby reservoir, building a CHP unit feeding 12.5km of gas pipes, 7km of power cables and nearly 3km of water pipes.

Vegetable production under cover could start as early as spring 2022, Fulcrum’s CEO Terry Dugdale announced.


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