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Draft Implementation Plan Published by Anaerobic Digestion Task Group

UK Government Department Defra’s Anaerobic Digestion Task Group has published a draft Implementation Plan outlining the steps it believes government and industry stakeholders need to do take to achieve a major increase in uptake of the technology.

The plan identifies areas including infrastructure, technology and regulation as priorities for action. It contains 46 recommendations, including:

• Developing an economic framework to encourage use of digestate as soil conditioner and fertiliser and biogas as a fuel
• Developing new feed-in tariffs for small scale renewable energy generation and renewable heat incentives
• Finalising the standard and Quality Protocol for digestate
• Continuing to improve knowledge of anaerobic digestion (AD) technology and prioritising research and development
• Increasing awareness and understanding of AD among developers, investors, customers and those involved in planning.

The aim of the recommendations in the report is to deliver the ambitions for anaerobic digestion set out in the Defra report ‘Anaerobic Digestion – Shared Goals’ published earlier this year.

Waste and recycling minister Dan Norris welcomed the publication said the government planned to respond to the recommendations in the document later this year.

And, speaking to about the Plan, the Task Group chair Steve Lee of CIWM explained that the body was now seeking input from AD stakeholders, although he added that this would not be a formal consultation process.

He also wants to see some commitment from the sector towards the proposals. He said: “It is a draft implementation plan and we want to get it out into the real world and get a range of people to look at it and comment on it.”

The task group is open to receiving feedback on the document until 9 September and a final plan is due for publication in the autumn.

Mr Lee added: “Some actions will be easy to deliver and some will take years but if it was a quick win plan it would not be worth very much. It will help further the take-up of anaerobic digestion.”

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has set up a forum to allow for easy communication between stakeholders about the Plan and provide a platform for feedback to the task group.

Dr Richard Swannell, director of retail & organics at WRAP added: “The Draft Implementation Plan has made some key recommendations which will stimulate the rapid development of the Anaerobic Digestion industry in the UK. Source: Association for Organics Recycling.

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