The government has set out proposals to severely cut support for new anaerobic digestion (AD) plants, due to come in from January 2017.
Compared to current rates, DECC plans to cut the feed-in tariffs for large plants above 500kW completely! For smaller installations, the tariff is to be reduced by 27%.
The Renewable Energy Association (REA) has said such tariffs are likely to end many new AD projects planned in the country. Their tariff supporting micro combined heat and power installations is set to remain unchanged with uptake of technology being relatively slow compared to AD.
According to the REA, the proposed tariffs for small and medium scale AD plants would be around 46% and 35% lower than the minimum viable levels recommended by the REA in the 2015 tariff review.
James Court, REA head of policy said: “This is a huge blow to the rural economy, circular economy, and to the growth of this source of low-carbon energy. Biogas is a domestic source of low-carbon energy, is delivering new electricity and heat capacity now, and has strong public support, yet faces drastic cuts.”
The new recommended tariffs would not prove sufficient to support new projects, argues the REA. They have claimed this would “directly impact” Government capacity targets to deliver renewable heat established in DECC’s five-year plan, while also stunting growth in the transport sector and disrupting the fifth carbon budget.