This report outlines current deployment in the UK anaerobic digestion (AD) industry, giving a comprehensive regional breakdown of the sector in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England.
The report provides detailed information on installed capacity, feedstock requirements and estimated cropping area for all anaerobic digestion plants contained with the anaerobic digestion deployment database, which tracks projects from the first public announcement through to operation.
The database is updated on a monthly basis and compiled using a number of data sources including: press announcements; regular discussions with technology providers, suppliers, investors and developers; the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Renewable Energy Planning Database (REPD), Planning Portals and Council planning registers; Ofgem statistics; and the Official Information Portal on AD, Biogas Map. Combined, these data sources provide an accurate insight into the various types, scales and status of AD projects in the UK.
Transparency is a critical factor when evaluating data robustness. This is especially important when using such data to validate strategic decision-making processes. By pulling information from primary resources and providing a plant-by-plant breakdown, this report provides detailed and trustworthy data with complete transparency throughout. It is expected that this report will be of significant value to developers, investors and policymakers alike in understanding the current state-of-play of the UK AD industry.
The scope of this report extends to both the agricultural and non-sewage waste AD sectors and includes both combined heat & power and biomethane-to-grid projects. However, traditional sewage waste treatment AD plants are not included. On account of the short lead times for development of AD projects, future deployment estimates in this report only extend to 2021.
- Extensive market data and analysis on current and future development trends.
- Regional breakdown of the 10 regions of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, with maps and timeline graphs illustrating regional development trends.
- Detailed sector commentary and comprehensive overview of policy and incentives affecting the anaerobic digestion development landscape.
- Comprehensive excel database of more than 1000 planned and operational Anaerobic Digestion facilities in the UK.
- Includes site name and location; feedstock type, source and volumes; energy output type and capacity; and development status.
Reasons to Buy
- To inform investment and policy decisions in the anaerobic digestion sector by understanding the current and future anaerobic digestion market and policy landscape.
- To enable targeting of sales and marketing effort for anaerobic digestion service and product providers, based on technical or regional focus.
- To identify competition and quantify feedstock requirements of the anaerobic digestion industry.
Data for this report was finalised on 23rd March 2018 and so any developments in the UK AD sector made after this date will not be included.
A Microsoft Excel database of all 1000+ projects is included alongside the report.
2 Policy & Incentives
2.2 Renewables Obligation
2.3 Contracts for Difference
2.4 Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation
2.5 Renewable Heat Incentive
2.6 Northern Ireland Renewable Heat Incentive
2.7 Sustainability Criteria
2.8 Feedstock Restrictions
2.9 Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation
3 Deployment Analysis Criteria
4 United Kingdom
7 Northern Ireland
9 North West of England
10 North East of England
11 Yorkshire & Humber
12 West Midlands
13 East Midlands
14 East of England
15 South West of England
16 South East of England
17 Greater London
It’s been a year of waiting for the UK Anaerobic Digestion (AD) industry. With the Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs) degressing to uneconomic levels, developers have increasingly focused greater attention on the biomethane-to-grid sector. However, the tariff reinstatements under the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) promised by Government at the end of 2016 have been beset with continuous delays, caused firstly by a drafting error, secondly by the snap election called last April and thirdly by the political attention drawn by the ongoing Brexit negotiations. Despite the original intention for the new tariffs to be introduced last April, we are still yet to see the changes adopted in legislation. Emergency measures to prevent any further degression to tariffs were adopted last September, though this has done little to encourage further development. However, the new regulations were laid in Parliament in February and look set to be implemented by the start of May 2018.
Alongside the new tariffs, developers of biomethane projects and large-scale biogas combustion projects will be able to apply for a tariff guarantee, provided they have the necessary planning permissions and a provisional funding agreement in place. With developers unwilling to commit to projects until these assurances have been adopted, the policy delays have caused a large backlog in the development pipeline. It will therefore be no surprise to see a rush for the new guarantees as soon as the new application system is opened by Ofgem, with developers looking to secure their project before the allocated tariff guarantee budget is exhausted and before tariffs begin to experience their familiar pattern of degression.
The FiTs and RHI have been the mainstays of support for the anaerobic digestion industry. However, both schemes are expected to close to new entrants over the next few years, with the FiTs anticipated to close in April 2019 and the RHI in April 2021. This begs the question to how the UK anaerobic digestion sector will be supported in the future.
Treasury previously announced in the 2017 budget that there will be no new low carbon electricity levies introduced until at least 2025. With the only remaining form of support - Contract for Differences (CfDs) - primarily targeted at large-scale electricity generation it looks likely in this transition period that power generation will no longer be a viable primary output option for new facilities.
While prospects for power generation falter opportunities for biomethane continue. In April 2018, the Government amended the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation to increase the level of support for deployment of renewable fuels in transport. With the level of the obligation having stalled at 4.75% over recent years, the target will be upwardly revised to 7.25% for the 2018 reporting period and will then follow a trajectory to drive delivery of 9.75% renewable fuel in UK transport by 2020 and eventually 12.4% by 2032. Biomethane currently receives a higher level of support than liquid biofuels, the former rewarded with 1.9 renewable transport fuel certificates (RTFCs) per kg if derived from crops and 3.8 RTFCS per kg if produced from wastes. While the risk of certificate price fluctuations presents a significant investment risk to developers interested in building new facilities dedicated to transport, the RTFO offers a potential opportunity for expansion of existing sites, where the RHI for low value tier II and tier III biomethane can be foregone and RTFCs claimed instead by the end transport user based on mass balance accounting approaches. To assist developers in understanding the potential value of biomethane used in transport application, the publisher has developed a tool to calculate and compare the level of support on a per kWh basis based on an anticipated RTFC price.
Meanwhile, the government remains focused on reforming subsidies for low-carbon heat, providing enduring support throughout the 2020s for technologies deemed necessary in meeting the UK’s long-term decarbonisation objectives. In October 2017, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published its Clean Growth Strategy where it is stated that:
“Beyond the RHI, our ambition is to phase out the installation of high carbon fossil fuel heating…”
“There is a range of low carbon heating technologies with the potential to support the scale of change needed. These include… decarbonising the gas grid by substituting natural gas with low carbon gases like biogas and hydrogen”
Meanwhile, the Committee on Climate change has clearly voiced its concerns about decarbonisation of the UK heat grid, stating that:
“Deployment of low-carbon heat cannot wait until the 2030s. Low-regret opportunities exist for heat pumps to be installed in homes that are off the gas grid, to install low carbon heat networks in heat-dense areas (e.g. cities) and to increase volumes of biomethane injection into the gas grid.”
While there remains great uncertainty as to how the government will support biomethane in the future, it is clear the technology is deemed crucial in ensuring our long-term decarbonisation objectives are achieved. To better understand the approaches that may be used to support gas grid decarbonisation, the government published a Call for Evidence in March 2018 which is due to close on 11th June 2018. The Call will provide vital input into the Government’s next heat strategy; we therefore encourage all industry stakeholders to provide input to ensure the AD industry continues to build on its current successes in decarbonising the UK heat sector.
Finally, there remains a continuing drive within government policy to improve sustainability within the renewables sector. Mandatory sustainability requirements - comprising greenhouse gas (GHG) and land criteria - have now been adopted in the FiTs for plants operating from May 2017, alongside new feedstock restrictions designed to encourage greater use of wastes by limiting support for output produced from non-waste feedstock to no more than 50% of total plant production. These additional feedstock restrictions are soon to be implemented under the RHI alongside the existing sustainability criteria once the new legislative amendments are passed.
With AD plants typically exhibiting complex supply chains, demonstrating compliance with the mandatory GHG threshold and feedstock requirements can be an arduous process. To make this process as quick and easy as possible for operators, the publisher has developed the ‘Biomethane and Biogas Carbon Calculator’. The tool can be used to simultaneously and accurately model the carbon emissions for heat, power and biomethane for complex multi-input, multi-output systems, ensuring that plant feedstock plans are optimally designed and that quarterly reporting to OFGEM is handled efficiently and effectively.