A lack of education on the benefits of AD exists within local and national government
A lack of education on the benefits of AD exists within local and national government

Renewable Energy from Waste manifesto published in UK

Renewable energy investor and funding provider Privilege Finance has launched a new manifesto ahead of the UK general election, on how public and policy support for AD (anaerobic digestion) could reduce reliance on imported fuels, reduce energy bills and tackle the climate emergency.

Chris Winward, CEO at Privilege Finance, said that despite the fact the UK is not on track to meet its legally binding net zero goals by 2050, the green agenda remains low on the list of government priorities.

He said, “We are disappointed to see that so far, this election has shown no long-term commitment to renewable energy despite the UK’s reliance on overseas energy sources, which has driven up energy bills during a cost-of-living crisis.”

“Yet again, even when political parties have mentioned renewable energy, the focus has remained on wind and solar, neglecting other proven green technologies, which could help the UK become energy self-sufficient and build the nation’s resilience.”

“A balanced, renewable approach to our energy is vital if we are to stop using harmful fossil fuels. It’s also alarming that some major parties continue to support fossil fuels for our gas needs, when AD can help decarbonise the gas networks now, using readily available organic wastes that would otherwise not be used efficiently.”

According to the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA), the UK has the potential to generate up to 90 TWh of energy annually from AD, which is the equivalent to 10% of the UK’s total energy demand.

Winward says whichever party takes power post- election, AD must not be ignored.

He said a “widescale lack of education” on the benefits of AD exists within local and national government, as well as consumers.

“By harnessing the potential of AD, the UK can reduce its vulnerability to global supply and market fluctuations. This would result in stable energy bills for consumers, localised energy production, greater supply security, and potentially allow the UK to detach itself from the global energy markets. To achieve this, AD must become a core part of the solution. Public awareness and acceptance of these projects are crucial.”

Not only does AD contribute to carbon mitigation by using waste as a feedstock and generating green energy, but the digestate produced from the process can save up to 0.5 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per hectare where it is applied, annually.

“AD has long been in the shadow of its renewable energy counterparts, despite its ability to address the carbon challenge across so many problem areas, at farm and food production level, through the better management of waste, and the energy we use in our homes,” he added.

In its manifesto, Privilege Finance remains committed to three key goals; the UK being 100% energy independent, zero food and organic waste to be sent to landfill, and to exceed the UK target for net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The report highlights actions that anyone can take to contribute collectively to the climate emergency.

“We encourage people to challenge their prospective MP candidates on what they’re going to do to support the use of unavoidable organic waste to produce energy. Post-election, we recommend writing to newly elected MPs to highlight the opportunity for the generation of renewable energy from waste.”

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