26th September 2016
Why Anaerobic Digestion is going Small-Scale
Industries, business owners and farmers all face challenges either regarding rising energy costs, disposing of waste economically and efficiently or generating a secure, regular income. These areas are becoming more challenging to find a sustainable solution for. Anaerobic digestion can be a solution to those issues. The technology has multiple benefits to offer clients from providing a source of renewable heat and electricity to effectively dealing with waste and providing a sustainable revenue stream.
On the whole, history has shown that the UK has opted for and built more medium to large-scale anaerobic digestion (AD) plants (above 250kW electrical output per hour) than small-scale. There are numerous reasons for this trend, with one of the main reasons being the high Feed in Tariffs (FiTs) on offer from Ofgem (the government regulator for gas and electricity markets in Britain). However, over the last couple of years, the Feed in Tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) tariff has been reduced, making it less appealing to construct large-scale AD plants; especially as there is a proposal to stop all FiTs for anaerobic digestion plants over 500kW (outcome due to be announced in the Autumn of this year). With that in mind there has been a rise in interest in small-scale anaerobic digestion plants.
Small-scale anaerobic digestion allows the client to diversify their farm, business or industry in a manageable and gradual way. It is a more cost-effective, long term route as the plants can be tailored to suit the client’s energy requirements and available feedstocks; reducing the potential of having to import feedstock. Daily feeding and maintenance can easily be integrated into the business’ day to day routine without it being largely time consuming. It can be game changer, offering a system that will reduce energy bills as the plants produces heat and electricity that can either be used by the business or farm; or alternatively can be exported to the grid to claim the FiT and RHI tariffs. Another benefit of the process is a nutrient-rich bi-product called digestate, which can act as an alternative fertiliser for farmers or be sold by business and industries to neighbouring farms.
To further discuss the benefits of small-scale AD or to book a free consultation, contact AD4Energy Ltd – the specialists in tailor-made, cost effective anaerobic digestion, via the following channels:
This article was first featured in Energy Now Magazine – Sept-Oct 2016 Edition (Issue 55)
On page 29, Titled: “Bigger isn’t always better”