The UK Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) has written to all national party leaders setting out a ‘wish list’ of actions it would like government to take to bring clarity to the sector.
The letter outlined that the industry requires clarity on policy affecting it, including stepping up plans for compulsory food waste collections and ensuring that sufficient funding is provided.
Amongst other suggestions in the letter is a request for Westminster to commit as soon as possible to additional support for anaerobic digestion (AD), as all current incentive schemes are due to end by 2021.
ADBA said that the sector needs this clarity in order to “stimulate planning and investment”.
It added that growth will be important in increasing the UK’s AD capacity, ahead of the extra segregated food waste which will be produced if compulsory collections are introduced.
In a statement, Charlotte Morton, chief executive of ADBA, said: “The next ten years are critical for achieving significant emissions reductions.
“If we are to meet Net Zero targets, ministers must implement policies that promote the development of this sector as a matter of urgency.”
In the letter, ADBA asked politicians for support in cross-departmental coordination within government, by ensuring the Treasury “keeps its new brief to coordinate environmental policy”.
The group says AD “brings benefits across multiple sectors” as it generates green energy, residue from the process can be used as an alternative to chemical fertilisers and it could be used in biorefining. As such ADBA wants parties to ensure AD policy is coordinated across departments.
ADBA has also asked that the current commitment to compulsory food waste collections is implemented as soon as possible, along with funding for local authorities to set-up the infrastructure needed.
It proposed the setting up of a virtual Centre for Anaerobic Biotechnology and Bioresources Research (CABB) too. This would be intended to “transform an industry currently perceived mainly as a waste treatment technology into a low cost multi-functional biotechnology”.
Along with its ‘wish list’, Ms Morton used the election to call on politicians to support the AD sector as a green industry.
“Other renewable industries, such as wind and solar, have enjoyed consistent support and are now extremely cost-effective and established as part of our renewable energy mix,” Ms Morton commented.
She added: “AD and biogas should be given the same fair treatment now so that it can realise its huge potential towards decarbonising the UK economy by 2030.”