Feed-in Tariff review for on-farm anaerobic digest

An emergency review of the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) for farm-based Anaerobic Digestion (AD) was announced by the Government.

Campaigners have pushed for changes to payments since the tariff was first announced in February 2010, leaving many renewable energy projects short of finance, and called on Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change Greg Barker to review the FIT.

CLA President William Worsley said: "I am delighted Greg Barker has listened to the arguments that the CLA and our colleagues from across the renewables industry have brought before him. Farm-based AD will help agriculture drive down its carbon emissions, deliver sustainable energy and other wider benefits to the rural economy.

"Our work with the Government on the AD action plan will support increased payments by reducing red tape. We will be working further with the Department of Energy and Climate Change to determine the right level of FIT payments to ensure that on-farm AD flourishes."

Mr Worsley also responded to the review of large-scale ground-mounted solar photovoltaics (PV), announced today. "Few solar PV projects have yet to come forward since Mr Barker expressed his concern on the potential costs for supporting this technology. We will respond to the consultation, aiming to ensure that existing projects are not harmed, and that roof-mounted solar retains support at all scales."

The CLA, through its support of the UK involvement in the International Energy Agency Task 37 on energy from biogas, is well placed to help the Government to find the right solutions to making farm AD a success for agriculture and the countryside.

Strutt & Parker welcomed the government’s decision to undertake a comprehensive review of the AD Feed in Tariff.

The current level of Feed In Tariff for Anaerobic Digestion is too low to make AD on farm viable at a scale that would be practical to integrate into current operations. Therefore the review should ensure that systems of between 100kW and 400kW using slurries, crops and vegetable waste are viable.

Farmers are well suited to operating AD, they have suitable locations, are used to working with machinery and the materials that go into and come out of AD plants. There are many AD plants on farm in Europe and hopefully the review will encourage more to be built in the UK as well.