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Government plan £10M anaerobic digestion push

The government wants to roll-out a series of anaerobic digestion plants for energy production and has a £10M grant package for demonstration plants.

Environment secretary Hilary Benn launched the push today, which would convert animal and other organic waste waste into biogas - methane - which can then be used to generate power or heat.

‘Accelerating the Uptake of Anaerobic Digestion in England: an Implementation Plan’ sets out actions to help businesses, local authorities, farmers and food producers to adopt the technology, which transforms organic material like manure and waste food into fuel.

Benn said: “Anaerobic digestion has fantastic potential because it uses organic material that would otherwise be thrown away and converts it into renewable energy.

“I’ve already seen great examples of this technology in use around the country and the Implementation Plan we are publishing today will help speed up its use across the economy. We should aim to become world leaders in the innovative use of AD,” he said.

The £10M fund launched today will help push the production of biogas from organic materials such as livestock manures and slurries, sewage sludge and food wastes. Treated residues can also be used in agriculture as a bio-fertiliser.

Three years ago, just three anaerobic digestion facilities were in operation. Today there are ten, with the same number under construction. The number of digestion plants on farms has also grown, with around 25 currently in operation and at least 15 more planned.

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