Status of Development – SWEA, UK (Wales)

The Welsh Government is keen to engage with the concept of small-scale, on-farm and waste based AD. If a model is established in Wales it can be extended to rest of UK. SWEA is working with assembled stakeholders group that includes Welsh government officials. Activities include: FiT consultation, engaging industry development, but also training and preparing feasibility studies.

Status of Development

The Biogas Action project is relevant to the whole of the UK but, for practical purposes will concentrate most of its activity in Wales. If a model can be established in Wales there is no particular reason that this could not be extended to England and the remainder of the UK. At the time of writing this report, there were 18 Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plants in Wales.With the exception of food waste processing plants, the AD industry in Wales is centred upon small to medium scale facilities, and it has been identified that this lower capacity, i.e. farm scale AD, is the area that requires the most support.

What have been done during the first project part

A stakeholder group has been assembled and the first meeting was held in April 2016. The group includes representation from the majority of key stakeholders and several Welsh Government officials. Also meetings with other stakeholder groups have been held. To address the government familiarisation with AD, SWAE made a formal response to the FiT consultation with UK gov., made input into Welsh strategy for carbon emissions reduction from agricultural sector, moreover SWAE is collaborating closely with local public entities.

SWEA together with Welsh government is trying to engage with the AD industry to develop standard products at a scale and cost that is reasonable to deploy on single farms – without adding a significant quantities of energy crops.

The need for AD training has been discussed with the UK Biogas trade bodies and the Environment Agency. SWEA organised a free training session at the “Energy Now” landowners exhibition in February 2017. SWEA have worked with many sites within Wales to investigate the feasibility of on-site AD plants.

Read the full report about the first period of the project in Wales, here.