Energy: Anaerobic Digestion

House of Lords written question – answered on 6th November 2009.

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Photo of Lord Cameron of Dillington Lord Cameron of Dillington Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to introduce targets for the number of anaerobic digestion plants to be built in the United Kingdom utilising agricultural and waste products.

Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, House of Lords, Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change, Minister of State (Department of Energy and Climate Change), Deputy Leader of the House of Lords

We have no intentions of introducing targets for the number of anaerobic digestion plants to be built in the UK. Such a policy would encourage plants to be build for the sake of the target rather than encourage cost-effective, well thought-out proposals to deliver both renewable energy and carbon savings. We are nevertheless working with local government, business and farmers to identify the potential of anaerobic digestion in their sectors. We have developed jointly with a broad range of stakeholders Anaerobic digestion—shared goals. This sets out our collective ambitions for the use of anaerobic digestion in this country, as well as the aspirations of individual sectors. It includes an aspiration by the National Farmers Union to have 1,000 farm-based anaerobic digestion plants by 2020.

We are encouraging the development of anaerobic digestion through our policies to support the generation of renewable energy. The renewables obligation supports the generation of renewable electricity by anaerobic digestion, as will the feed-in tariff. Our proposed renewable heat incentive will support the generation of heat or the production of biomethane from anaerobic digestion for injection to the gas grid.

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