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Scottish Anaerobic Digestion Industry’s Astonishing Year of Growth 2015

The article which follows is all about the year 2015 when there was amazing growth in the Scottish Anaerobic Digestion industry.

Circumstances of government assistance in that year gave agricultural businesses and investors much-needed confidence in the price their biogas energy would be able to command.

It was also clear that the subsidies which were available were being rapidly downgraded, and hence the rapid increase in new biogas plants built.

Now, in 2021, 6 years later, the AD industry which has been relatively quiet waits for new plants to be built once more in large numbers.

It now seems reasonable to hope that soon circumstances will return to Scottish Anaerobic Digestion to make such increases commonplace.

In fact, there is every reason that the wait may be almost over, due to rising prices being paid for renewable biofuels, and especially biomethane.

Meanwhile, we suggest that you read the original 2015 article reproduced below:


Astonishing Near 70% Growth in Scottish Anaerobic Digestion Industry in 1 Year

Scotland has been the pearl in the crown for anaerobic digestion plant installations over the last year or so. The rate of growth documented below is an amazing achievement.

But, the big cutbacks in UK government subsidies, since April 2015, will doubtless result in a massive reduction in future projects.

So when you read this, think of it as the peak of Scottish biogas plant growth!

Scotland’s anaerobic digestion industry grows by nearly seventy per cent in a year

Scotland’s anaerobic digestion (AD) industry has grown by nearly seventy per cent in the last year, according to new figures.

There are now twenty-seven anaerobic digestion projects – which turns rotting food and farm waste into electricity – operational in Scotland, an increase of 69 per cent from 12 months ago.

A further 43 have planning approval, with the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association forecasting that the sector could grow by 200 per cent in the next two years.

Stephanie Clark, policy manager at Scottish Renewables, said:

“These new ADBA figures show that AD is being taken extremely seriously by Scottish businesses.”

“Increasingly, waste has value. The AD process recognises that, and turns things we don’t want, like food waste and farmyard slurry, into something we desperately need – clean, affordable electricity.”

Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of ADBA, said:

“With a commitment from government to support the technology to scale – a commitment which currently does not exist – AD can deliver baseload energy that is cheaper than new nuclear by the time Hinkley Point C is built, and that can help decarbonise UK heat, farming and transport.”

The AD process involves farm slurry, vegetable peelings, paper and other organic material decomposing inside a closed chamber to produce gas, which is then used to generate electricity.

The amount of food thrown away in Scotland each year has fallen by 8 per cent since 2009, while less than half of Scotland’s household waste was sent to landfill in 2014. Via the article “Scotland’s anaerobic digestion industry grows by nearly seventy per cent in a year”. [Link no longer available.]

Twenty seven AD projects are up and running in Scotland, up 69% (from 16) in 12 months ago, while a further 43 have planning approval. Via Food waste generates strong growth in Scots anaerobic-digestion (AD-)power sector

With a dozen more plants waiting for permission to go ahead, the sector could grow by more than 200% in the next two years, figures from the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) show.

The AD process involves farm slurry, vegetable peelings, paper and other organic material decomposing inside a closed chamber to produce gas, which is then used to generate electricity.

The amount of food thrown away in Scotland each year has fallen by 8% since 2009, while less than half of Scotland’s household waste was sent to landfill in 2014 – the first time that figure has ever dipped below the 50 per cent mark, and a sign that technology like AD can help reduce demand on landfill space.

Increased numbers of household food waste collections under the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012 mean more will become available to fuel Scotland’s ongoing Scottish Anaerobic Digestion boom.

Food Waste To Energy in Scotland

Charlotte Morton, chief executive of ADBA, said:
Image shows ADBA's Charlotte Morton illustrating disappoinment at UK biogas Feed-In Tarrif closure.“Scotland is leading the way in demonstrating how anaerobic digestion extracts value from our waste, while supporting farming resilience, reducing billions in carbon abatement costs, improving food security and production and generating employment and investment opportunities for rural economies.

We are particularly excited to see AD plants working in partnership with local authorities to collect residents’ food waste and to distribute in its place heat and electricity for local homes.”

Developments in Scotland are now being used to showcase the excellent return on investment that bill payers gain from the continued deployment of AD capacity.

Stephanie Clark, Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables, added:

“These new ADBA figures show that AD is being taken extremely seriously by Scottish businesses.”

“Increasingly, waste has value. The AD process recognises that, and turns things we don’t want, like food waste and farmyard slurry, into something we desperately need – clean, affordable electricity.”

Via Anaerobic Digestion In Scotland Grows By Over Two Thirds

New figures published today by the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) show that Scotland’s anaerobic digestion industry has grown by more than two thirds over the past year.

growth in Anaerobic Digestion in Scotland
Image by mgrenner57 via Flickr [Link no longer available.]

The organisation said that there are now 27 AD projects up and running in Scotland, up 69% from 16 in 12 months ago, while a further 43 have planning approval. There are also a dozen more plants waiting for permission to go ahead, and the sector could grow by more than 200% in the next two years,

ADBA also noted that while the amount of food thrown away in Scotland each year has fallen by 8% since 2009, less than half of Scotland’s household waste was sent to landfill in 2014.

It's the first time that figure has ever dipped below the 50% mark and a sign that technology like AD can help reduce demand on landfill space.

John Cridland, the Director-General of the CBI, has throughout the year has consistently highlighted the negative impact the UK Government’s policy changes will have on green subsidies.  via The growth of anaerobic digestion industry in Scotland

Further, under the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012 more will become available to due increased numbers of household food waste collections. via Anaerobic Digestion Boom in Scotland as Food Waste Falls

John Cridland, the Director-General of the CBI, who throughout the year consistently highlighted the negative impact the UK Government’s policy changes on green subsidies, has been nominated in the Champions of Renewables category.

The growth of the anaerobic digestion industry in Scotland

New figures released last week from the Anaerobic Digestion and Biosources Association (ADBA) show that Scotland’s anaerobic digestion industry has grown by 69% in the past year. In that time the number of instillations has increased from 16 to 27 with a further 43 currently with planning permission.

On top of that 12 more are currently in the advanced stages of the planning process which if they were to go ahead would mean the sector would grow by more than 200% over the next 24 months.

The anaerobic digestion process uses organic material such as vegetable waste, paper and farm slurry which decomposes inside a sealed chamber to produce gas which in turn is used to generate electricity.

The increase in instillations throughout the country has led to less than half of Scotland’s household waste going to landfill in 2014 which the first year ever that this is below 50% showing that anaerobic digestion can help reduce the demand on landfill space.

Also the last year has seen dramatic increases in the amount of food waste collections in Scotland under the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012 adding to amount of fuel available.

Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables, Stephanie Clark said about Scottish anaerobic digestion:

“These new ADBA figures show that AD is being taken extremely seriously by Scottish businesses.

“Increasingly, waste has value. The AD process recognises that, and turns things we don’t want, like food waste and farmyard slurry, into something we desperately need – clean, affordable electricity.”

Chief Executive of ADBA Charlotte Morton added:

“Scotland is leading the way in demonstrating how anaerobic digestion extracts value from our waste, while supporting farming resilience, reducing billions in carbon abatement costs, improving food security and production and generating employment and investment opportunities for rural economies.”

“We are particularly excited to see AD plants working in partnership with local authorities to collect residents’ kitchen food waste and to distribute in its place heat and electricity for local homes.”

Sticking with Scottish Renewables and the fifty finalists for the 14th Scottish Green Energy Awards were announced last week. Categories include Champion of Renewables, Best Photography, Best Supplier, Engineering Excellence, Business Growth, and Rising Star.

Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables Niall Stuart said:

“2015 has been an incredibly difficult year for renewable energy, with a whole series of cuts by the Westminster Government. We should however remember that our industry is producing record levels of heat and power as we seek to lead the transformation in Scotland’s energy sector.”

“This year’s finalists have all played a part in our industry’s success and show the many ways in which the growth of renewable energy is benefitting communities and businesses across the country.”

“I would like to thank everyone who entered the awards, and I look forward to congratulating the worthy winners on December 3.”

One further company that has been nominated for an award this year (2015) is ILI (Renewable Energy).

Over this period we achieved eighty successful planning applications and although extreme grid restrictions meant that not all could be fully developed the majority were or are currently in the development phase.

via The growth of anaerobic digestion industry in Scotland


[Article first published: November 2015: Updated June 2021.]

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