THE UK ANAEROBIC DIGESTION & BIOGAS TRADE ASSOCIATION’S BI-MONTHLY MAGAZINE
Issue 22 June 2014
Enhancing sustainable agriculture – integrating crop AD into farming UK AD & Biogas 2014 preview
Focus on pipes
UK AD & Biogas Industry Awards shortlist
Visit us at stand K025 at UK AD&Biogas 2014
In Any Colour You Require
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AD & Biogas News | JUNE 2014
Guest Foreword Inside this issue > Guest Foreword:
Government & Agency News:
Feature – Crops for AD:
UK AD & Biogas 2014 Preview:
UK AD & Biogas Industry Awards 2014 Preview:
Technology Focus – Pipes:
Members’ News and Views:
Upcoming Events: Membership Matters:
Keeping AD on the political agenda By Chris Huhne, former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, former Shadow Defra Minister and MEP, and now a Strategic Advisor for ADBA.
he outlook for renewables in general – and for AD in particular – is full of contradictions. On the one hand, there continues to be high and stable public support for renewable energy. In the regular DECC polling, more than 70% of the public support renewables consistently; people can see the point in tackling climate change and providing insurance against energy shocks and dependence on Russian gas. On the other hand, anybody involved in the renewables sector knows that politics has become sensitive to immediate consumer costs. Never mind that on-shore wind is projected to be cheaper than gas in 2020-30; budgets – including energy-bill financed budgets – are tight. The EU is debating whether there should be specific new targets for renewable energy after 2020, and how quickly subsidies should be phased out. The response has to be robust. While we should celebrate the EU’s success in creating new and increasingly competitive renewable industries, we must also recognise that subsidies are designed to pump-prime business, not provide long term support. But more renewables are likely to reach lift off if there is a consistent political push, so the EU should not give up now. On-shore wind and solar power are already competitive with gas in many parts of the world, and costs are still falling.
AD&Biogas News Features Features for Issue 23 (September) include: • UK AD & Biogas 2014 & Awards review • AD finance - special report • Engaging local communities - A good relationship with your community is vital in planning, and continues to be important once a plant is up and running. Following DECC's Community Energy Strategy, local communities could even become a source of finance, too. This feature will look at the various strategies employed by AD operators to engage local communities, helping projects to succeed at the planning, funding, construction and operational stages. • Technology focus: Measuring, controls, monitoring equipment and lab testing Copy deadline: 11 July
Within the renewables sector, AD has a particular role as one of the few renewable technologies that can provide either baseload power when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining, or peaking power when demand outstrips supply. That is a considerable – and valuable – feature, and Germany has shown how important AD can become in the national energy system. As a decentralised and home-grown energy source, AD must play a key part in ensuring our energy security against price hikes and supply disruptions. AD also brings further benefits by recycling on-farm slurry and waste and producing a nutrient rich digestate. It is never easy to marshall support from two Whitehall departments – DECC and Defra – when our sector has clear benefits for both, but ADBA will continue to do so successfully.
Features for Issue 24 (November) include: • ADBA National Conference 2014 preview • AD in the food and drink sector • Technology focus: CHP and gas clean up equipment Copy deadline: 12 September
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JUNE 2014 | AD & Biogas News
ADBA News AD goes hand in hand with sustainable farming By Charlotte Morton, ADBA’s Chief Executive
ADBA objects to possible 1 MW FIT limit
ntegrating anaerobic digestion (AD) into farming operations, including the use of crop feedstocks, can play an important role in boosting the viability and sustainability of farming businesses, as well as driving the growth of the AD industry in the coming years. Growing crops such as maize, grass and rye silage for use in AD, along with manures and slurries, can lead to more effective crop rotations by increasing soil organic matter, improving soil structure and reducing soil degradation, ultimately resulting in greater long term farm profitability through higher yields and reduced input costs. The application of digestate, a nutrient rich by-product of AD, to farmland also reduces odour impact compared with spreading raw manure to land, as well as reducing the need for expensive, carbon-intensive artificial fertiliser.
We are committed to maintaining a close dialogue with farmers and addressing any issues that operators encounter, be they technical, regulatory or financial. The first meeting of our Crop Operator group took place in Cambridge in March and provided farmers with an open forum to tackle important topics such as the use of silage clamps, biomass sustainability criteria, and EA regulation of farm wastes. The group’s second meeting – incorporating a site visit – is set to take place in late summer. Our upcoming trade show, UK AD & Biogas 2014 (2-3 July, Birmingham NEC), will also focus strongly on the farming sector and growing crops sustainably for AD. Seminar sessions on sustainability criteria and crop options are likely to be keenly attended, and it will be very interesting to hear what the new NFU President, Meurig Raymond, has to say on AD’s role in sustainable farming. See our feature on p10, ‘Crops for AD’ UK AD & Biogas 2014 preview, p16
With a growing number of farmers keen to take advantage of the benefits of AD, we decided in 2012, with Defra’s backing and the support of a number of organisations, to put together a best practice guidance document which sets out how crops can best be grown sustainably for AD. I am delighted to announce that this work is nearly complete, following close dialogue with Defra alongside industry groups including NFU, CLA, NNFCC, REA and RSPB. We are confident that this document will not only provide invaluable guidance to farmers on the most effective and sustainable ways to grow crops for AD, but will also help to demonstrate the sustainability of crop-based AD to government, in order to ensure future support.
As those of you who attended our Members’ Meeting in April will be aware, European Commission State Aid guidelines have been adopted which appear to limit future national Feed-in Tariff (FIT) schemes to projects below 1 MW. The Commission's intention is to introduce greater competition for renewable energy support, and to ultimately replace direct support schemes such as the FIT with market-based schemes, similar to the Contracts for Difference (CfD) model being introduced for larger renewables. Although these guidelines could obviously have a significant impact if implemented in the UK, the extent to which member states will have flexibility in interpreting them – if implementation is perceived to be detrimental to deployment rates – is not completely clear. The guidance does confirm, however, that member states can be exempt from the requirements if they can ‘demonstrate that a competitive bidding process would result in low project realisation rates’. The UK government is among those to have objected to the changes, and we have worked with DECC and the European bodies to provide evidence from the AD market to support this position. We will continue our efforts to make a strong case that FIT schemes should be available to projects of at least 5 MW.
Major supermarket becomes GGT shareholder We are delighted to announce that one of the major supermarkets has joined Future Biogas, Tamar Energy and other AD developers to become a shareholder in Green Gas Trading (GGT), following significant due diligence to test the robustness of the systems and processes behind GGT’s Biomethane Certification Scheme. GGT was established with our backing to ensure that the benefit of the 'green' element of biomethane is retained by the producers, not the shippers or suppliers, thus maximising its value, which will be vital as tariffs degress. For information on how to join the scheme, contact Grant Ashton: T +44 (0)7951 240 728 E firstname.lastname@example.org www.greengastrading.com
AD & Biogas News | JUNE 2014
ADBA News RHI biomethane tariff under review The expected review of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) biomethane tariff is underway. We are continuing to gather cost data for DECC, to be fed in before the consultation closes at the end of June.
It is possible that any changes to the tariff could be implemented this autumn. We will keep members informed via our website and weekly email updates as this issue develops further.
© Chesterfield BioGas
The review aims to ensure that tariffs are set on the basis of the most up to date cost information, taking into account economies of scale. Evidence received from members suggests that the current 7.5p/kWh rate is too low to incentivise biomethane plants under 500 m3/hr; that the rate is fair for plants up to 750 m3/hr; and that some adjustment to this rate could be justified for plants above this level (based on a plant using primarily food waste). Our preference would be for a ‘tiered’ tariff, where, beyond a certain level (for example 55,000 MWh per year) any biomethane injected would receive a lower RHI tariff (eg 1p/kWh). This is one of the options that DECC proposes, but we are concerned that the tariff levels proposed in the consultation document are too low.
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RHI for biogas combustion – latest updates
Biomethane campaign group looks to simplify injection regulation
Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) support for biogas combustion beyond the current 200 kWth limit is now open for applications. Support for biogas installations which were commissioned after 4 December 2013 is available at the following rates:
Moves to simplify biomethane injection regulation and cut costs were addressed at the latest meeting of the biomethane campaign group, which we set up with the Energy Networks Association.
<200 kWth = 7.5p/kWh 200-600 kWth = 5.9p/kWh >600 kWth = 2.2p/kWh The government has also released a ‘clarifying note’ on biogas CHP eligibility, which is available via our website. This is clear that engines need to have been commissioned as CHP since 4 December to qualify, but also says that ‘the addition of a new combustion unit [to an existing biogas site] may be eligible’. In further RHI news, following discussion with Ofgem, a number of important clarifications have been made in relation to metering for RHI biogas combustion installations:
With Ofgem revealing that they are currently reviewing whether the technical standards for accuracy of CV measurement are disproportionately high, the group analysed data transmission requirements, concluding that current testing of CV measurement devices is onerous and unrealistic for UK operations. A sub group is therefore being formed to consider whether these requirements can be simplified, and representatives from ADBA, Ofgem, the Gas Distribution Networks, National Grid, and Xoserve will consider if there are areas where data does not need to be incorporated into future software. This would cut capital and operational costs, and reduce the risk of errors as the biomethane sector expands. In further discussions, National Grid’s work to assess online siloxane analysers and the impact of siloxanes on domestic boilers was also highlighted. © DMT Environmental Technology and Heat and Power Services
• Biogas plants will generally be considered ‘multiple’ for metering purposes; • Biogas plants will generally need to meter heat used by the digester (which is generally an eligible purpose but is also deducted from the payment calculation); • Biogas plants with only one CHP and no other source of energy (such as an oil boiler) on the same heating system will not generally need to meter the heat generated by the CHP (only the heat used for eligible purposes and heat to the digester); • Biogas plants will generally need an Independent Metering Report for full applications.
JUNE 2014 | AD & Biogas News
ADBA News EIS reprieve maintains funding opportunities for AD
DfT announces plans to amend RTFO
The March Budget had originally announced that all companies accredited under the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) or Renewables Obligation (RO) would be excluded from EIS-qualifying funds, effective from the assent of the Finance Bill expected this summer. However, following our insistence that EIS funding was an important source of finance for the sector, the decision to exempt AD was taken on 19 May. Government intends to follow the same approach it took in 2012 when FITs were originally planned to be excluded from venture capital schemes, namely, that: ‘methods of energy production where the energy is generated by anaerobic digestion…were not excluded by the legislation. The government intends to maintain this approach for electricity generation, given that evidence does not currently suggest that the market has changed. Where the same technologies can be used to produce heat, these will also not be excluded by the legislation’.
© Tenens Environmental
Following our briefings to government, using evidence provided by AD developers and financiers who attended our recent Finance Forum, it has been confirmed that AD projects receiving RHI or RO funding will still be allowed to receive funding from Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS)-qualifying investors. This is despite the fact that other renewable technologies are excluded by the changes this year.
Recommendations from the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Low Emission HGV Task Force group, to which ADBA contributed, are starting to be implemented. Set up to boost the use of gas and biomethane in the transport sector, the HGV Task Force will play an important role in determining how the £4m earmarked by DfT will help to develop gas refuelling infrastructure over the next five years. We were pleased to see that following our response to the February consultation, DfT has announced plans to amend the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO) to ensure that biomethane receives support on energy equivalence with diesel: RTFCs are currently given to biodiesel per litre but to biomethane per kg, yet there is greater energy value in a kg of gas than a litre of diesel. DfT intends to consult on this change later in the year. See full Transport Working Group update on p30
AD & Biogas News | JUNE 2014
News from the regions Minister opens new Welsh food waste plant Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister of Wales, has officially opened a new £6m AD plant in Llwyn Isaf, near Caernarfon. Prosiect GwyriAD will treat 11,000 tpa of local authority food waste collected from nearby homes and businesses, generating 3,500 MWh of renewable electricity. Built by Biogen on Gwynedd Council land, the Welsh Government has provided almost £2.4m to support the project, as Carwyn Jones explains: “Wales is the only country in the UK with a national programme to address household food waste, and we have provided leadership to local government and the market with our ambitions, as well as significant funding.” John Ibbett, Biogen Chairman, adds: “Thanks to the foresight of the Welsh Government, the investment from Iona Capital, and Biogen’s strong working partnership with Gwynedd Council, the GwyriAD plant is now making a valuable contribution to sustainable waste disposal and renewable energy supply in Wales.” www.biogen.co.uk
GIB prioritises on-farm AD in Northern Ireland The Green Investment Bank (GIB) has announced plans to help fund a series of on-farm AD plants in Northern Ireland. Despite strong interest, only a small number of plants are operational in the country, yet almost 100 are at the planning stage and looking for finance. “Northern Ireland has an opportunity to set its own [subsidy] regime and there is a tremendous amount of agricultural waste there that they need to deal with, so that’s why we we’re looking at that market first,” outlines Shaun Kingsbury, GIB Chief Executive. Smaller AD projects in Northern Ireland benefit from significantly stronger support than the rest of the UK, with sub-500 kW facilities receiving four Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs), and medium-sized projects up to 5 MW receiving three ROCs. www.greeninvestmentbank.org.uk
L-R: Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister of Wales; John Ibbett, Biogen Chairman; and Cllr Huw Edwards, Chairman of Gwynedd Council
Scotland breaks green energy record
NFU Scotland urges government to restore FIT support
Figures from DECC show that Scotland’s green energy record was broken in 2013, with renewables generating enough electricity to meet 46.5% of the country’s needs. “Even today, many people do not realise the massive contribution renewables make to powering our homes and businesses, and reducing our carbon emissions,” states Joss Blamire, Senior Policy Manager for Scottish Renewables. “These figures show that, alongside nuclear, renewables are the biggest provider of electricity in the country, with 2013 our best ever year. The report goes to show what can be achieved when industry and government work together towards our ambitious 2020 renewable energy targets.” www.scottishrenewables.com
The National Farmers’ Union of Scotland (NFUS) has argued that AD’s potential as a renewable energy option for Scottish farm businesses will suffer unless Westminster reinstates the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) rates for those considering installation. The organisation has written to government, highlighting that the 20% FIT reduction for projects up to 500 kW is likely to stall the positive impact that AD could have on Scottish farming. In a letter to Greg Barker MP, Minister of State for Climate Change, NFUS President Nigel Miller writes: “Farm level AD based on waste streams creates a very positive synergy with a spectrum of benefits. To ensure the benefits of AD are optimised, it would be of real value if FIT rates were reinstated to drive the adoption of second generation technology based on waste streams.” www.nfus.org.uk
JUNE 2014 | AD & Biogas News
Government & Agency News Recent AD incidents ‘preventable’ says EA The Environment Agency (EA) has issued an update on AD-related pollution/ safety incidents between 2010-2013, detailing how these could have been prevented. ‘Not only are these a threat to the environment and human health, but they undermine public and investor confidence in the AD industry and could hinder its growth,’ cites the review. ‘These incidents have prompted us to look at whether the environmental permits we issue for AD plants provide an adequate level of control and protection.’ The EA goes on to list the primary causes of containment failure incidents at AD plants, including: inadequate foam prevention; failure of safety valves; failure of alarms; leaking AD tank membranes; and poor operator safety. The Agency states that it welcomes and supports ADBA’s development of a best practice scheme. For further information, refer to the EA’s ‘How to comply with your environmental permit’ guidance, or the health and safety chapter of ADBA’s Practical Guide to AD. To read the review in full, go to: www.bit.ly/1iGzRfA See Safety First, p41
First GIB-funded project opens for business The first project funded by the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) has been completed on time and within budget. The TEG biogas plant – London’s first commercial-scale AD and composting facility – was officially opened by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable MP. Situated within the Mayor of London’s 60-acre London Sustainable Industries Park (LSIP) in Dagenham, the facility has the capacity to Shaun Kingsbury, Chief Executive of the Green Investment Bank process up to 50,000 tpa of Londoners’ food and green waste, generating 1.4 MW of renewable electricity and 36,000 tpa of digestate. A neighbouring PET and HDPE plastic bottle recycling plant will use the residual heat. The project was led by Foresight Environmental Fund, a £60m fund targeting waste infrastructure projects within Greater London, and was supported by the European Investment Bank and the London Waste and Recycling Board, through the London Green Fund. “This project is an important first for London and provides a positive demonstration of a fully integrated renewable energy and waste management project,” applauds Shaun Kingsbury, Chief Executive, UK Green Investment Bank. “The AD and composting facility will see waste, which could have been sent to landfill, now being used to create renewable energy and heat as well as compost and digestate for the agriculture sector.” www.greeninvestmentbank.com
AD & Biogas News | JUNE 2014
WRAP funding helps communities and farmers into AD Farmers in England are being encouraged to apply for WRAP’s On-Farm AD Fund, which can finance small scale AD operations up to 250 kW. Forming the second stage of a £3m Defra-funded initiative, the capital loan fund will provide farmers with a maximum of 50% of the project cost, capped at £400,000 per farm, when matched with finance from other sources. Launched in October 2013, the first stage of the fund comprised a business plan grant of up to £10,000 per farm and has received nearly 400 enquiries. Dr Liz Goodwin, Chief Executive of WRAP, explains: “The On-Farm AD Fund is to help farmers convert more of their farm waste into renewable energy and valuable fertiliser through the process of AD.” WRAP has also received over 50 applications for its Rural Community Energy Fund, with 28 projects currently live. Supporting rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects which provide economic and social benefits to the community, the fund provides up to approximately £150,000 of funding for feasibility and pre-planning development work to help projects become ready for investment. “There are some really exciting and ambitious AD projects in the Midlands and North West in particular,” comments David Rogers, Programme Manager. www.wrap.org.uk/content/farm-ad-fund www.wrap.org.uk/content/rural-community-energy-fund
WRAP is running a free one-to-one advice clinic on the On-Farm AD Fund at UK AD & BIogas 2014, 2-3 July, NEC, Birmingham. http://bit.ly/1vRzBEC
JUNE 2014 | AD & Biogas News
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Crops for AD
Crops for AD – supporting farming, securing our food supplies
n order to meet the UK’s 2050 emissions target, around 10% of our primary energy needs to come from bioenergy. As one of the most efficient forms of bioenergy, biogas from the anaerobic digestion (AD) of crops can help to meet this target – but against the backdrop of an ever-increasing population and pressure on natural resources, the practice of using agricultural land for the cultivation of non-food crops has sometimes faced a backlash. Look past the controversial headlines, however, and the evidence points to a win-win for both farming and the future of our natural ecosystems. At the same time as this debate has been taking place, the UK AD industry has experienced an impressive growth spurt, leaping from just over 30 operational plants in 2009 to the current figure of 145. Of these, just nine process only crops. In fact, we estimate that plants treating municipal, commercial and industrial waste make up 75% of the UK’s installed AD capacity, without even taking into account some farm wastes. Defra’s own statistics reveal that in 2013, just 15,500 hectares of land was used for growing maize for biogas; 0.24% of the UK’s total croppable area. But where crops are used, it is vital that they are grown in a way which integrates into a farm’s existing system, encourages environmental benefits and avoids potential problems.
The saviour of UK farming?
The multiple benefits that crops for AD can deliver are well worth highlighting. With rising energy and fertiliser costs, pressure to reduce their environmental impact, and profit margins squeezed at every turn, many farm businesses are being forced to diversify to remain viable. While on-farm AD has proved a successful diversification option and has also helped farmers to better manage their waste streams, farm wastes such as slurries and manures alone do not always provide a suitable AD feedstock mix. Some farmers are therefore growing energy crops to feed to their digester, including Gloucestershire farmer James Hart: “The initial pressure for farmers is to return a reliable margin on each crop; not always easy within a limited rotation, and with volatile world market prices. Following a sustained period when wheat was £80 per tonne and we were losing money on every tonne that we produced, a value of £30 per tonne for maize provided a better arable return on grade three soil.” “The ability to grow maize was one of the reasons why we built an AD plant,” continues James. “Although we process our manures through the digester, we cannot run it on manure alone, as it is too rich in nitrogen. Maize keeps our plant operating efficiently, and allows us to better manage our farm waste. But in order to be able to responsibly improve and adapt in this way, farms must first be profitable. An on-farm AD plant, incorporating energy crops, allows a farmer to develop his business in ways that would not be possible through bulk commodity selling, or a simple arable rotation.”
Benefits for all
Maize for biogas helps Gloucestershire farmer James Hart (L) better manage his farm waste
AD & Biogas News | JUNE 2014
The advantages of AD crops stretch beyond improving the viability of farming and supporting better waste treatment, however. When used as a break crop, as part of a farm’s existing rotation, crops for AD can help to improve soil structure and reduce soil degradation without the use of chemicals, keeping farming sustainable and increasing yields for subsequent food crops. “Maize can be flexibly placed in the rotation, making it especially useful after late lifted beet and vegetables, which often have no viable following crop,” explains Oliver Knowland of Future Biogas. “It requires only a short growing window and uses water and nutrients very efficiently, growing well on even poor land. And its large root structure provides soil fertility and can improve soil structure.” www.adbiogas.co.uk
Crops for AD According to Simon Draper, Agronomist for the Maize Growers’ Association, it’s essential to weigh up the suitability of a potential maize growing site before embarking on any project: “Maize grown in the wrong location can cause serious environmental damage, leading to charges of flooding and silting of water courses. Ensure that maize is not planted on high soil risk sites. Where it has to be planted on steep slopes adjacent to a water course, main roads or houses, etc, great care needs to be taken to avoid run-off. Fields should also be assessed to ensure they do not drain into already failing rivers, which can be identified via the Environment Agency’s website.”
More than maize BioG UK Director Rob Greenow believes that AD-produced digestate will help to increase the volume of food being produced in the UK, rather than reducing it
Robert Greenow, Director of BioG UK, outlines some of the other advantages of AD crops: “Taking a mixed cropping approach, rather than the large monoculture blocks seen in Europe, will benefit local wildlife more than a traditional cereal rotation of wheat, second wheat and oilseed rape. And, of course, the use of AD-produced digestate, which is rich in valuable nutrients, such as nitrogen, potassium and phosphate, also helps to further increase yields – farmers can spread it not just on their AD crops, but on the rotational food crops, too, replacing the need for fossil-based fertilisers. Managed well, AD crops will actually increase the volume per acre of food being produced in the UK, rather than reducing it.”
Location, location, location
Crops for AD can also make good use of land graded as unsuitable for growing food direct for human consumption, such as Severn Trent Water’s 2,200 acre Stoke Bardolph Estate. “With a long history of AD, a need for heat and electricity, an established grid connection, plenty of available land, and experience of growing maize for the Estate’s former dairy unit, the case for an on-site AD plant using energy crops as feedstock really stacked up for us,” explains John Jackson, Farms Manager for Severn Trent Water. “This land was used extensively for the recycling of sewage sludge many years ago and this resulted in high metal levels in the soils; today’s regulations do not allow this to happen. We knew that the fertile soil was ideal for growing maize and it’s good news that we’ve been able to bring it into active production for sustainable energy generation,” concludes John.
But, of course, maize is not the only AD crop option; wholecrop hybrid rye and energy beet are also becoming more widely grown, and mix well with maize to stabilise fermentation and increase gas yields. In addition, novel crop options such as cup plant, wildflower mixes and energy grass are being tried and may deliver both biogas and biodiversity benefits. The biogas plant at Carr Farm in Warton, near Preston, came on stream in summer 2011, using maize as its primary feedstock. But following a difficult growing season in 2012, the owners decided to try KWS’ hybrid rye variety, Magnifico, and have not looked back since. “Hybrid rye could just be the more consistent crop that growers have been looking for, helping to improve biogas plant viability in regions where maize is a non-starter,” suggests KWS’ biogas specialist, Simon Witheford. “A lot of farmers also see it as a silver bullet to control blackgrass.” After a disappointing maize season, Carr Farm biogas plant is now using KWS’ hybrid rye, Magnifico
“Wholecrop rye is particularly suited to areas with insufficient heat units for maize, and can be harvested early, giving more opportunity for fertility building or biologically fumigating cover crops,” adds Oliver Knowland. “What’s more, it’s suitable for stronger soils, has good resistance to Take All and Eyespot, is very competitive against blackgrass, and rabbits don’t like eating it as much as other cereals. Another alternative is energy beet which, like hybrid rye, delivers impressive dry matter (DM) yields: “The higher the DM, the lower the risk of frost damage in both the soil and the clamp. This means that crops can be left for longer to bulk in the fields, or stored during the winter, with reduced risk of damage to the root,” explains Simon. “This later harvest also reduces the risk of run-off and erosion on bare ground, and the active root system helps to mop up any mineralised nitrogen, reducing autumn leaching.” John Jackson of Severn Trent Water feeds the company’s Stoke Bardolph AD plant with maize grown on land unsuitable for food production www.adbiogas.co.uk
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Technology focus: Digestate
AD & Biogas News | JUNE 2014
Crops for AD Sustainability policy While any responsible AD operator will already be working hard to ensure both the sustainability and efficiency of their facility, soon, every plant will be required to report the lifecycle emissions of any crop feedstocks used, in order to comply with the new sustainability criteria. Under the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), sustainability criteria reporting for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will become mandatory from autumn 2014. The GHG criteria will also apply to the Renewables Obligation (RO) for plants above 1 MW from April 2015, with land criteria for both schemes also taking effect from this time. Although as yet there is no similar deadline for the Feed-in Tariff (FIT), the scheme is due for consultation in 2015, and sustainability criteria could be on the agenda. “Operators will need to demonstrate a 60% saving on fossil criteria, which equates to 125.28 kgCO2 per MWh for the RHI; and 285 kgCO2 per MWh for the RO,” states Matt Hindle, ADBA’s Policy Manager. “Operators can choose how to demonstrate compliance, either using their own model or DECC’s Biomass Carbon Calculator, but all consignments of crop feedstock must meet these limits. In addition, operators should be aware of the proposed Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) criteria, which could be included in future calculation of emissions.” The reporting of lifecycle carbon emissions of biomethane is one of the cornerstones of Green Gas Trading's Biomethane Certification Scheme (BMCS), set up by ADBA and the biomethane Industry. Every MW of biomethane certificated by the scheme accounts for the carbon cost of producing the gas, which allows end users to demonstrate the true carbon value of the biomethane that they purchase. This assures buyers of BMCScertificated biomethane that the reporting of their carbon footprint will be achieved using a rigorous, audited lifecycle carbon methodology for that gas.
There are many AD crop options, from wildflower mixes to energy beet (pictured)
And the choices don't end there. “Wildflowers are another option and can be grown perennially on poor or marginal land,” says Oliver Knowland. “They provide an excellent habitat for beneficial insects, butterflies and moths, and a much-needed source of food for young birds and bats. While perennial crops such as cup plant, wildflowers and energy grass are sometimes expensive to establish, their low annual cultivation costs and their ability to sequester more carbon could make them more cost-effective in the long term; we need more research.”
But with land use facing greater scrutiny than ever before, maximising the biogas return from every hectare of crops grown for AD is also essential, explains Tim Elsome, Business Development Manager of FM BioEnergy: “It’s critical to the UK biogas sector that land used for the production of energy crops is not only well maintained, but that energy yields per hectare are maximised. While most energy crop plants use biogas-specific varieties to maximise yield in the field, our analysis from maize harvested and clamped in 2013 shows huge variations in methane potential per tonne of dry matter. Silasil Energy, our silage additive, minimises these losses as its three bacterial strains rapidly reduce the pH within the clamp. These strains have also been specifically selected to create an acetic acid profile – the precursor to methane production – thereby increasing digestibility in the fermenter. In independent tests, the combination of these two factors increased gas yield per hectare by an average of 10%.”
Dr Paul Adams, Post-Doctoral Researcher at the University of Bath, believes that policy must strike a balance between encouraging renewable energy and ensuring sustainability: “ILUC is extremely difficult to quantify and model, which means attempting to place a value on GHG emissions from ILUC is inherently complex; but anyone growing crops for AD will increasingly need to provide evidence that they have been produced using low amounts of agro-chemicals and farming inputs. Sustainability criteria make sense and are being implemented to ensure that excessive amounts of high quality land are not being used to produce large volumes of biomass through intensive farming. Although policy is therefore heading in the right direction, a balance is required between encouraging a thriving AD industry and ensuring sustainable agricultural practices.” For the EBA’s Susanna Litmanen, the current ‘one size fits all’ approach favoured by the European Commission has its limitations: “The ILUC criteria are scientifically controversial and the proposal seems to categorise all biofuels from any crops as unsustainable and to be capped under the 5% limitation. The proposal ignores the positive effects of bioenergy, especially on sustainable agriculture: in the case of AD, for example, a wide variety of crops can be used for biogas production including those that protect the soil from nutrient leaching, improve biodiversity, and act as a rotational crop, improving the overall productivity of the land. Moreover, the use of digestate contributes to the growth of crops in a sustainable way. These positive impacts should also be considered, to ensure well-balanced policies.”
Silasil Energy, from FM BioEnergy, reduces methane losses in the clamp and increases digestibility
Continued>> JUNE 2014 | AD & Biogas News
Crops for AD Alongside this, we are also actively engaged in the process to review DECC’s sustainability calculator for lifecycle emissions; we recently responded to Ofgem’s consultation on sustainability criteria under the RO; and we will be using the impending RHI review to again make our case on the need for sustainability criteria grandfathering. Finally, we have established a Crop Operator group, providing a regular opportunity for those at the sharp end to share best practice, discuss current issues and work together to help influence future policy decisions. With so much to be gained from growing crops for AD, we refuse to let unfounded criticism stunt the growth of this vital part of the UK’s bioenergy mix. www.futurebiogas.com www.biog-uk.co.uk www.stwater.co.uk www.kws-uk.com www.fmbioenergy.co.uk
ADBA is working hard to ensure that policymakers understand the many benefits to be gained from growing crops for AD
It is therefore vital for the future success of the industry that we continue to educate policymakers on the benefits of crops for AD – from making farming viable, improving soil quality and enhancing food production; to encouraging wildlife, supporting efficient waste treatment and enabling good use of land unsuitable for food production. We have invested a considerable amount of time and effort in this area, and have worked closely with the NFU, NNFCC, CLA, REA and Defra to develop a Crop Best Practice guidance document. This is now very near to completion and, as well as outlining the many positive aspects of crops for AD to government, is set to become an invaluable tool for existing and future AD crop growers, encouraging successful and sustainable AD crop operations.
For advice on growing maize, contact the Maize Growers’ Association: T +44 (0)1363 775040 E email@example.com www.maizegrowersassociation.co.uk For more info on Green Gas Trading’s Biomethane Certification Scheme: T +44 (0)7951 240728 E firstname.lastname@example.org www.greengastrading.com Stand D001, UK AD & Biogas 2014 Find out more on growing crops for AD at UK AD & Biogas 2014, 2-3 July, NEC, Birmingham www.adbiogas.co.uk
AD & Biogas News | JUNE 2014
Shaping the future
JUNE 2014 | AD & Biogas News
UK AD & Biogas 2014 Preview Network, learn and do business at the AD event of the year
ith 145 anaerobic digestion (AD) plants currently operational in the UK and over 200 plants with planning permission, the country’s AD market is looking encouragingly strong. The industry’s growth and potential is reflected in the interest in our fifth annual trade show and conference, UK AD & Biogas 2014 (2-3 July, NEC, Birmingham). The sold out event features 250 exhibitors – 82 of whom are exhibiting for the first-time – and offers two packed days of free AD information, including informative presentations and workshops, excellent networking opportunities, valuable AD advice and innovative technology demonstrations.
Register now to beat the queues Visit www.adbiogas.co.uk today to register for your free ticket.
Free one-to-one advice clinics “Follow us on Twitter @adbiogas using the hashtag #UKADBiogas for the latest event news and live updates.” Annika Herter, Marketing Manager
At a glance
• Free access to all areas • Free two day conference • 22 free seminars • NEW R&D Hub • One-to-one advice clinics • Biomethane vehicle area • AD site visits • The third UK AD & Biogas Industry Awards
Our experts offer you 20 minutes of free advice on all aspects of your AD project. • Farmers’ Consultancy • Finance • Sending your food waste to AD • Digestate • PAS110 • Operational performance • Planning • Gas to grid • Environmental permitting
“Visit the Edina café for a bite to eat or drink, while networking with existing clients and new contacts made at the show.”
“Pre-book your advice sessions at the times convenient for you via www.adbiogas.co.uk.”
Jamil Ahad, Sales Manager
Kelly Oxenham, Marketing Executive
NEW R&D Hub
Our new R&D Hub offers visitors the opportunity to: • Explore the latest AD research and development • Consult one-to-one advice clinics on funding and commercialisation • Hear short presentations and view poster exhibitions • Make new contacts at our twice daily networking events See the full programme at www.adbiogas.co.uk Supporting sponsors: 16
• WRAP on-farm AD fund • Legal • Biomethane for transport • Profiting from biomethane • Sustainability criteria • Ofgem RHI, FIT and RO • Guide to food waste and AD • Sourcing feedstock
AD & Biogas News | JUNE 2014
“If you’re an AD operator, researcher or just interested in AD research and development, join our twice daily networking events at the R&D Hub.” Rosaline Hulse, R&D Liaison Manager
UK AD & Biogas 2014 Preview Conference programme
Day 1 – Wednesday 2 July
Day 2 – Thursday 3 July
Where does AD fit in the bio-economy? Welcome address, overview of industry growth and performance The political outlook for the UK and EU Conference sponsor: Market outlook How AD fits into the circular economy Opportunities for AD businesses in the wider bio-economy
The importance of operational performance The importance of a high performance industry The importance of operational performance for operators The importance of R&D in bringing down costs and increasing returns Panel session: Driving AD best practice
Break 11.30 – 11.45
Making digestate work for your plants The market for digestate: why low carbon fertiliser? New digestate products Panel session: Digestate storage and application – what do you need to prepare for?
Lunch 13.00 – 14.00
Overview of financial incentives GIB – new market report The importance of operational performance for investment Adapting to degression of financial incentives Why we need to put a real price on carbon Lunch 13.20 – 14.00 How will the waste market develop? The benefits of on-site AD Panel session: How can we drive the best use of resources, and increase feedstock availability?
Imtech is pleased to be one of the key sponsors of UK AD & Biogas 2014. The show has grown year-on-year and has become an important date in the diary for anyone involved with AD and biogas.
What is the future of AD on farms? Bioenergy sustainability AD’s place in sustainable farming Panel session: The future of small scale AD on farms
Kevin Clarke, Imtech For the full programme, including timings, go to www.adbiogas.co.uk
Purple seminar sponsored by
Green seminar sponsored by
Day 1 – Wednesday 2 July
Day 2 – Thursday 3 July
10.00 – 10.55
Advancing AD in the water sector
Refuelling the countryside (organised by RASE)
10.00 – 10.55 Heat use
Biogas upgrading: what are your options?
11.00 – 11.55 12.00 – 12.55
Getting food waste collection and treatment right
Growing crops well
Maximising the value of biomethane
How pre-treatment can improve performance
Planning for digestate and realising its value
11.00 – 11.55 Operational performance: how can enzymes and additives help your plant? 12.00 – 12.55 Digestate technology
Complying with sustainability criteria
13.00 – 14.00 Lunch break 14.00 – 14.55 15.00 – 15.55
Doing AD well – avoiding problems in construction and operation
Managing risks: contracts and insurance
Training and safety
Unlocking finance for AD
16.00 – 16.55 Technology to improve operational performance
13.00 – 14.00 Lunch break
Planning and public engagement
14.00 – 14.55 The business case for on-farm AD
Monitoring and improving digester performance
15.00 – 16.00 The business case for onsite food and drink 16.00 – 16.55 Technology to improve operational performance
How can you make small scale AD viable?
Planning and public engagement
JUNE 2014 | AD & Biogas News
UK AD & Biogas 2014 Preview
Showcasing the latest AD innovations Enjoy a virtual tour of evaporator system Members of the HRS engineering team will be manning the stand at UK AD & Biogas 2014, ready to answer questions on the range of HRS corrugated tube heat exchangers; the HRS Unicus scraped surface evaporator; and the HRS 3-tank batch pasteuriser system. Visitors will also be able enjoy a 3D, virtual reality walk-around of the Unicus evaporator system – using a head mounted VR display, the system will be visible in detail, featuring cut open internal views. “UK AD & Biogas is always a great way to meet clients old and new and we look forward to welcoming visitors to our stand,” comments Michael Adkins, Marketing Manager. Stand F009 www.hrs.co.uk
Improving plant performance Focusing on heat use at both new and existing biogas plants, PlanET Biogas UK Ltd is keen to help AD operators increase their revenue. Furthermore, the company’s plug and play solutions for solid chargers, crushing technology and gas management can also help to increase a plant’s performance. “UK AD & Biogas 2014 allows us to meet customers and help them achieve higher efficiencies from their plants by implementing preventative mechanical, electrical and CHP maintenance, as well as biological support,” says David Hynes, Service Manager. “Unfortunately, many UK biogas plants are underperforming and we look forward to meeting and assisting these operators by repowering their plants.” Stand J025 www.planet-biogas.co.uk
Wet, dry and gas upgrading solutions Jones Celtic BioEnergy and Schmack Biogas have recently completed commissioning Europe’s largest batch dry AD plant. Uniquely capable of processing comingled green and food waste without pre-treatment, the Fife Council facility has the capacity to generate 1.2–1.4 MW of renewable electricity. Together, the companies provide full-service solutions for all biogas and biowaste requirements, including wet and dry fermentation projects, and gas upgrading technology. “The UK’s only dedicated AD and biogas show is the perfect place for us to present our innovative AD solutions and make contact with visitors and industry experts. Of particular interest is the emerging gas to grid market,” states Michael Groth, Head of Sales for Schmack Biogas. Stand B005 www.schmack-biogas.com www.joneseng.com/services/bioenergy
Commercial scale AD expertise Supporting sponsor Tamar Energy’s three operational plants have a combined capacity of 6 MWe, processing food, commercial and agricultural wastes. Two further plants are under construction, and the company has a full development pipeline in prime locations. Working to make commercial scale AD a fixture in the UK renewables mix through at industry-leading standards, attendees economies of scale and multiple feedstock sourcing arrangements, Tamar UK AD & Biogas 2013 Energy executives are showcasing the company’s operational facilities and
network plans at the show, and will also speak about operational performance at the show’s conference. “UK AD & Biogas 2014 is an excellent forum to discuss real industry opportunities, drivers and barriers, connect with peers, and meet the ever-expanding range of stakeholders interested in our sector,” comments Mat Stewart, Director Operationstoand Feedstock. ofofvisitors UK AD & Biogas Stand H007 2013 were senior decision makers www.tamar-energy.com
Online energy management for independent generators and producers A wholly owned subsidiary of Total, Total Gas & Power Ltd has worked closely with independent generators since 2008 to provide the UK’s AD and biogas marketplace with a range of Power Purchase Agreements and Feed-in Tariff services. The company launched its Gas Purchase Agreement in October 2013 and its unique online energy management platform provides generators and producers with direct access to the UK wholesale gas and power markets, as well as the ability to manage monthly revenue and FIT statements. “We can help you construct the right solutions to meet your growing generation and energy requirements, minimising expenditure and maximising your revenues,” states Stuart Westerman, Director of Energy & Ancillary Services. Stand E051 www.totalgp.com 18
AD & Biogas News | JUNE 2014
UK AD & Biogas 2014 Preview New grit removal technology unveiled After an extremely busy show last year, supporting sponsor Huber Technology has seen a rise in interest for its pre- and post-digestion equipment; the Ro5 Bio grit removal/washing system, and the Strainpress range. The company has been working on further developing its reject washing, plastics and grit removal systems, and is launching two new products for the biowaste market at UK AD & Biogas 2014. Tony Clutten, Process Sales Manager, comments: “The UK AD market continues to be extremely exciting, with special variations on tried and proven equipment. The show provides us with a great opportunity to demonstrate where we can assist in the AD process, and also creates an excellent networking environment.” Stand B029 www.huber.co.uk
Delivering 30 years of innovation Sole UK and Ireland distributor for MWM engines, Edina Group supplies power generation equipment to CHP and AD operations, from 500 kWe agricultural plants to 6 MWe commercial facilities. Recently awarded The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation Category, Edina staff will be on hand to answer all your queries, with the company once again sponsoring the popular Edina café. “Constructed by Edina in the UK, our containerised generating engines are the result of 30 years’ experience, guaranteeing maximum operational availability,” explains Tony Fenton, Joint Managing Director. “We find UK AD & Biogas one of the best opportunities to talk directly to potential customers and other supporters of the AD industry.” Stand E037 www.edina.eu
Award winning AD solutions
Energy producers set to benefit from renewables portfolio Seminar sponsor Inenco is pleased to announce its inaugural renewables portfolio, allowing generators to benefit from bulk selling for the first time, and giving them access to the wholesale market. The portfolio offers massive flexibility with trading arrangements, allowing trades from as little as 2 kW, and also comprises in-built protections against cash out penalties. Inenco has negotiated market leading rates on Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) and Levy Exemption Certificates (LECs), and passes 100% of embedded benefits on to generators. Realising that cash flow can be an issue for small scale generators, the company has also negotiated easy to manage, monthly FIT payments. To find out more, speak to Inenco’s dedicated team of renewables experts at the show. Stand A021 www.inenco.com
Conference sponsor takes AD to the next level Imtech Water, Waste and Energy has a strong track record in developing environmentally sustainable solutions and is a leading delivery partner for major UK AD projects, including the 3 MWe Tamar Energy plant in Hoddesdon. And with the imminent completion of the Minworth AD facility for Severn Trent, Imtech is now taking AD to the next level, successfully demonstrating the benefits of biogas upgrading. Kevin Clarke, Business Development Manager – Waste and Energy, comments: “We are excited to be exhibiting at and sponsoring the conference at this year’s UK AD & Biogas and will be focusing on four principal aspects of waste and energy: biogas upgrading; anaerobic digestion of source segregated organic waste; anaerobic digestion of municipal solid waste; and sewage digestion.” Stand E089 www.imtech.com
Sporting one of the largest AD process and engineering teams in the UK, PROjEN Bioenergy is pleased to announce the launch of its highly optimised AD biological process, which recently gained the IChemE (Institute of Chemical Engineers) prestigious Bioprocessing Award. Over the past three years, PROjEN has been involved in all stages of AD projects: process engineering design; re-engineering AD plants; construction; and commissioning (over 25 MWe of capacity). The company’s award winning processes are now available for all AD plants from 250 kW–10 MWth. Whether you’re a farmer, waste management company manager, developer, or have an industrial process requirement, PROjEN staff will be on hand at the show to discuss your needs. Stand G027 www.projenbioenergy.co.uk
Membrane upgrading demonstration According to membrane upgrading specialist Evonik, the full potential of biogas remains untapped. Upgrading it to biomethane ensures the maximum value is extracted and seminar sponsor Evonik is keen to show visitors to its stand exactly how its membrane technology works. “Sepuran® Green is not only a cost- and energy-efficient way to separate CO2, it’s also easy to operate,” states Evonik’s Dr. Sandra Uebbing. “Made of a high performance polymer, the membrane is capable of effectively distinguishing between methane and CO2, allowing the raw gas to be purified to up to 99% methane. See for yourself at UK AD & Biogas 2014 by touching the membranes on-stand, examining membrane modules and learning how membrane-based biogas upgrading works.” Stand E085 www.evonik.com
JUNE 2014 | AD & Biogas News
UK AD & Biogas 2014 Preview Quality valves from an expert team Showcasing a wide selection of valves, the team from Leengate Valves, supporting sponsor of the show, is looking forward to engaging with the UK AD industry at UK AD & Biogas 2014 – and maybe sharing some cake! “We’re keen to welcome visitors to our stand and invite you to take a look at the products on display, talk about your valve requirement to our knowledgeable team, and even take a piece of cake to remember us by,” says Mick Loseby, Sales Director. “All processes need a valve, and we’re keen to demonstrate our capabilities as one of the UK’s leading valve wholesalers, where quality, knowledge and value are standard.” Stand H067 www.leengatevalves.co.uk
The next generation of biogas measurement Visitors to UK AD & Biogas 2014 will be the first to see the next generation of biogas measurement from MTL, part of Eaton’s Crouse-Hinds business. The MTL GIR6000 builds on a wealth of experience in gas measurement and hazardous areas, using well-established hybrid sensor principles, and comes with capability for future upgrade and expansion. The new platform enhances serviceability through its intelligent, user-changeable modules dedicated to each of the gas components, improving availability and minimising downtime whilst ensuring continuous accurate gas measurement. Supplied as a single measurement system secured inside the rugged IP65, ATEX Zone 2 enclosure, installation and commissioning are quick and easy. Stand C031 www.mtl-inst.com
Gas engine reliability is key to success First-time exhibitor Chevron Lubricants is showcasing its HDAX family of highly resilient Group II base oil formulations for advanced technology gas engines, sold throughout Europe under the Texaco brand. With gas engine reliability key to business profitability and success, HDAX products are designed to offer high performance component protection, with the oxidation stability and resistance required for reliable, low maintenance, keep-clean engine performance and optimum system uptime. Texaco HDAX Extended Life Coolant XLC is a high performance, extended life engine coolant concentrate. Fleet tested for in excess of 40,000 hours, it offers protection against freezing, boiling and cooling system corrosion, including high temperature corrosion in modern aluminium engines. Stand J001 www.chevronlubricants.com
email@example.com www.fli-energy.com 20
AD & Biogas News | JUNE 2014
UK AD & Biogas 2014 Preview Full-sized Flexibuster™ on display
The complete AD solution
With more than 20 years’ experience, Finning is a leading EPC (engineering, procurement, construction) solutions provider in the generation of power from landfill and mines gas, and AD applications. Finning staff will be on hand at UK AD & Biogas 2014 to provide visitors with all the latest information on its total AD solution including: feasibility studies, design, commissioning, equipment supply, build, ongoing operation, 24/7 maintenance and financing capabilities. Finning is also the UK’s sole Cat® dealer, offering the CG range of Cat gas engines. Featuring electrical outputs ranging from 400–4,300 kWe, CG generator sets can operate on gases of varying quality, including natural gas, biogases such as landfill, digester and sewage gas, coke gas and coal mine methane. Stand D021 www.finning.co.uk
SEaB Energy is set to turn heads at this year’s show with a full-sized version of its award winning, patented, micro power plant, the Flexibuster™. Housed in a standardised shipping container, the Flexibuster™ produces between 8 kW–55 kWe continuously, which can either be used onsite or sold back to the grid, delivering a modelled payback in under three years. The product is currently used in the hospitality, food and drink, and agricultural sectors. “UK AD & Biogas 2014 provides us with the perfect platform to demonstrate to all small waste producers the effectiveness of small scale AD and the attractive payback that it offers,” comments Sandra Sassow, Chief Executive. Stand H047 www.seabenergy.com
JUNE 2014 | AD & Biogas News
Technology focus: Gas upgrading
We’re exhibiting at UK AD & Biogas 2014 – find us at stand B029!
AD & Biogas News | JUNE 2014
UK AD & Biogas Industry Awards 2014 Preview Join us to celebrate 2014’s UK AD & Biogas Industry Awards winners
oasting the largest number of entries and our longest shortlist to date, this year’s UK AD & Biogas Industry Awards (2 July, NEC Concourse suites 1-2, Birmingham) are set to be the most eventful ever. Clearly reflecting the growth, excellence and versatility of the UK’s AD industry – which has seen an exciting 31% growth in operational AD plants over the past twelve months – this promises to be a stellar evening of good food and networking while rewarding the UK’s most outstanding new AD industry projects, products, teams and services. Tables and tickets are selling fast so join us to celebrate with the best of the best.
What’s on? 19:00 – 20:00 Networking and drinks reception sponsored by 20:00 – 20:10 Welcome address 20:10 – 21:30 Dinner 21:30 – 22:00 Entertainment 22:00 – 23:00 Awards ceremony 23:00 – onwards Networking drinks
Hurry – book your ticket or table now!
The shortlist Innovation in sewage treatment through AD • Cranfield University • Severn Trent Water and NMC Nomenca • Veolia 'Water Energy' Programme Innovation in food waste collection • Olleco • ReFood Innovation in process efficiency/optimisation • Citadel Environmental Solutions • Monsal • MT-Energie UK • New Generation Biogas • Nijhuis H2OK • PRM Waste Systems sponsored by • Schwarting Biosystem • Uniflare Ltd Making the most of digestate • Citadel Environmental Solutions • Monsal • Wales Centre of Excellence for Anaerobic Digestion Making the most of biogas sponsored by • Chesterfield BioGas • Clarke Energy Best supporting service • Aqua Enviro • GP Planning • RUR3 Environmental • The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) • Wales Centre of Excellence for Anaerobic Digestion • Walker Morris Best on-farm AD project • Agrigen Ltd • Joint entry from Shropshire Biogas, Edina Group and PROjEN • Joint entry from St Nicholas Court Farms and MT-Energie UK • Shropshire Energy UK, Littleport Farm AD plant • Tamar Energy • WIS Group Northern Ireland Best food & drink industry AD project • Clearfleau• Holbeach AD Facility (QV Foods and Tamar Energy)• Wyke Farm Best merchant waste AD project • Joint entry by Emerald Biogas and Edina Group sponsored by • Malaby Biogas • Monsal • TEG Biogas Ltd Best small scale AD project (sub 250 kW) • Clearfleau • LEAP Micro AD AD hero/team of the year • ENA Biomethane Campaign • Imtech • ReFood • Scotia Gas Networks sponsored by • Tamar Energy • Target Renewables • Wyke Farm www.adbiogas.co.uk
Tables are filling fast so book now to celebrate the best in AD, enjoying a delicious three course meal and half a bottle of wine, followed by a drinks reception, comedian, awards ceremony and after party. ADBA Members Table of 10: £1,200 + VAT Individual place: £130 + VAT Non-members Table of 10: £1,400 + VAT Individual place: £160 + VAT Visit www.adbiogas.co.uk or contact Rebecca Stanley at Vitesse Media, our awards organisers: T +44 (0)20 7250 7050 E firstname.lastname@example.org
Promote your business at the AD event of the year With the shortlist published, tickets selling fast and many awards categories already sponsored, make sure to align your company name with the industry’s finest by booking one of the few remaining sponsorship packages. To find out more about the pre- and post-awards PR and marketing opportunities available, contact Ben Brougham at Vitesse Media, our awards organisers: T +44 (0)20 7250 7051 E email@example.com JUNE 2014 | AD & Biogas News
AD & Biogas News | JUNE 2014
Technology focus: Pipes
Minimise downtime with good pipe design Pipes are essential components of a biogas plant. Whether used to transport liquid or semi-liquid feedstock and digestate; to transport biogas; or to help with the removal of condensate from saturated biogas, their importance to a successful AD operation cannot be underestimated. Here, Ursula Kepp, independent consultant in design and operation, and a judge at the UK AD & Biogas Industry Awards 2014, explains how correct pipe selection and good design can help to minimise issues such as blockages, corrosion and leaks.
Pipes for transporting feedstock and digestate “Pipe layout for feedstock and digestate transportation needs careful consideration at all stages of the design process. Factors you need to consider include: • Volume to be pumped; • Viscosity of the material; • Potential risk of stratification and sedimentation; • Gas development in vertical pipe and formation of a high viscose zone; • Length of pipe and final layout, in particular all bends.
The higher a feedstock or digestate’s dry matter (DM) content, the greater the viscosity. As the viscosity of any feedstock mix may not be known at the design stage, and may change during operation, pipework should be designed for a relatively wide range of viscosities. Other factors to consider include temperature changes and, for winter operation, whether or not pipes are equipped with trace heating. A flow disruption during winter can easily lead to very low temperatures being experienced by the pipe contents and subsequently, a significantly increased viscosity. Furthermore, as AD feedstock is often characterised by low pH levels (eg silage or acidic food waste) and the presence of hydrogen sulphide (eg manures), the material chosen for the pipework and associated equipment must be resistant to any form of corrosion and be designed to withstand the highest potential pressures likely to be experienced by the pipework system.
Feedstock with high fibre content can be problematic when a pipe changes direction – small disturbances in the flow pattern will lead to separation of fibre and water, and the formation of dense lumps. In order to reduce the risk of operational disruption, pipes – especially those used for pumping high solids material – should be designed for easy removal of blockages, either by reverse flow patterns and/or the use of high pressure jetting. AD is a continuous process demanding the transport of biologically active material; therefore, if a pipe is taken out of operation, it should be emptied of organic material. This needs to be included in the process design and should form part of the HAZOP analysis.
Pipes for transporting gas
Prior to being pressurised for use in a CHP unit, biogas must first be dried. This normally takes www.adbiogas.co.uk
place in the gas pipe using ambient cooling or natural low ground temperatures. Usually, the ambient temperature will be lower than the digestion temperature, leading to condensation of water vapour in gas pipes. Potential water build up in the gas pipe network must be avoided, as it can cause pressure variations in the biogas system and reduce the overall capacity of the pipework. The preferred solution would be to design gas pipes with a slope, allowing any locally formed condensate to drain freely back into the connected tank, with any remaining condensate collected in the condensate trap. In addition, the amount of condensate in winter will be higher than in the summer months, potentially resulting in ice formation, which can significantly reduce a pipe’s available cross-section within a short period of time. The use of biogas domes can help to reduce this risk. Continued>> JUNE 2014 | AD & Biogas News
Technology focus: Pipes Agricultural AD plants are commonly equipped with integrated desulphurisation units, whereby small amounts of air are introduced into the gas space above the digester or storage tank. The elemental sulphur formed can be further oxidised to sulphuric acid, which has a strong corrosive effect on the tanks and associated pipework, a process known as bio-corrosion. Therefore, only materials not affected by acid corrosion should be used for gas pipes. More likely in plants operating at a higher DM content or using feedstock high in proteins (ammonia) and/or fats, foaming can be caused by events such as a shock to the digestion process, poor microbial conditions, or a lack of sufficient headspace in the digester. If not regularly controlled, foam can reach both the biogas safety equipment and the main biogas pipework, causing extensive damage, so care must be taken to avoid excessive foaming. Finally, blocked gas pipework can quickly lead to operational failure. It is therefore important to consider the layout for each tank separately, and ensure each one is equipped with its own safety system, isolation capacity, and the facility to remove any blockages in the gas pipes.”
Material selection is crucial to pipe success Manufacturer of gas management equipment for the biogas, process gas and landfill gas industries, Uniflare also specialises in the installation of systems to transport biogas. During a project’s design phase, the company’s experts consider different process parameters before selecting the right equipment – even if that means choosing an alternative supplier, as Mike Lee, Project Development Manager, explains: “We have completed numerous AD projects, both in the UK and worldwide, supplying not only Uniflare process equipment but other technologies, too. We are also responsible for the complete turnkey installation, including the digester and gas train pipelines.” Mike continues: “Whilst alternatives such as polyethylene or galvanised carbon steel can sometimes be used, the material that best satisfies biogas requirements is stainless steel. We use two main types: grades 304L and 316L. Grade 304L exhibits excellent resistance to a wide range of atmospheric, chemical, and food process exposures, while grade 316L is ideal where a higher corrosion resistance is required. Correct material selection is crucial to the success and longevity of a biogas plant.” www.uniflare.co.uk Uniflare is exhibiting at UK AD & Biogas 2014, stand F005
AD & Biogas News | JUNE 2014
JUNE 2014 | AD & Biogas News
ADBA fights for small scale AD
For up to the minute information and advice on regulations, consultations and government news, contact our Policy Manager Matt Hindle T +44 (0)203 176 0591 E firstname.lastname@example.org
Ofgem delays with FIT pre-accreditation – evidence required While we have already gathered a lot of data, we would appreciate any further evidence or examples of delays to projects caused by Ofgem’s lack of urgency in processing FIT preliminary accreditations – the more examples we have, the more compelling a case we can make for an extension to projects that have already applied. Please send any evidence as soon as possible to E email@example.com
FIT degression – latest data creates uncertainty over October cut for >500 kW plants Latest statistics from DECC regarding FIT deployment up to April 2014 show that deployment up to 500 kW has moved even further beyond the level required to trigger an additional 10% cut this October. We are continuing our work to find solutions to boost the small scale and on-farm AD sectors ahead of the 2015 Feed-in Tariff (FIT) review, recently making a strong case to DECC on the need to amend the degression mechanism. At the time of going to press, a roundtable meeting on this subject was due to take place with Energy Minister Greg Barker MP and Environment Secretary Owen Paterson MP, alongside REA, at which we are intending to once again raise members’ concerns over the length time taken by Ofgem to process preliminary accreditations. We have already raised this issue directly with Ofgem and DECC and, following the roundtable, we will provide a full update of any developments on our website, as well as in the September issue of AD & Biogas News.
The forecast for plants over 500 kW is more complex, however – surprisingly, low levels of deployment in April mean that another 9.3 MW of deployment is still required in this banding during May and June to trigger a 5% cut in October. A more detailed analysis of the FIT data for plants over 500 kW reveals that, of the 18 applications for FIT preliminary accreditation being processed by Ofgem in December, only two have been approved. Any applicants who do not now believe that they will be able to commission within 12 months of the application date should withdraw their application – this will reduce the risk of the degression trigger being hit and tariff reductions occurring.
Lords back best practice model for separate food waste collections in England Following evidence from our Chief Executive Charlotte Morton, among others, at a Parliamentary committee hearing on the benefits that separate food waste collections deliver both for waste reduction and the AD sector, the House of Lords has backed a best practice model for England. Entitled ‘Counting the Cost of Food Waste’, the Lords’ report into food waste prevention notes ‘with interest’ the example of the Scottish government in making separate food waste collections obligatory. It recommends that the UK government ‘develop a best practice model for such separate collection, at both household and commercial level, for Councils throughout England’. Other recommendations within the report include VAT exemptions to encourage supermarkets to donate unsold food for human consumption, and a five-year food waste prevention strategy from the European Commission by November 2014.
AD & Biogas News | JUNE 2014
Policy Waste regulation road map launched
Ofgem publishes guidance on sustainability reporting Ofgem has published final guidance documents for complying with sustainability requirements under the Renewables Obligation (RO), with very similar guidance likely to be applicable to Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) operators later this year.
A working group comprising members of local authority waste networks, the London Waste and Recycling Board, and WRAP has launched a waste regulations route map. Designed to help local authorities assess their compliance with the waste regulations, the route map provides important information on those regulations relevant to separate collections of recyclable waste. While not serving as guidance, it addresses the key questions that local authorities will need to consider when determining whether their service meets these requirements and, where necessary, when assessing TEEP (Technically, Environmentally and Economically Practicable).
The regulator has clarified a number of issues which we raised in response to its February consultation, including how AD operators should use the mass-balance approach (see diagrams in Chapter 6 of the Sustainability Criteria guidance). In another key issue for us, the Fuel Measurement and Sampling guidance is also clear, confirming that the potential gas yield of different consignments of feedstock is a factor in the allocation of emissions. The following final documents are now available via our news blog at www.adbiogas.co.uk: • Guidance on Fuel Measurement and Sampling, and a Specific AD Fuel Measurement and Sampling Questionnaire; • Sustainability Criteria Guidance; • Sustainability Audit Guidance. We expect to work closely with Ofgem to continue to develop the RO guidance, and to add more detail to the RHI guidance once it is in place.
Download the route map directly from the WRAP website at: http://bit.ly/ROU0dn
Labour pledges support for green gas
EA releases briefing note on permitting changes The Environment Agency (EA) has released a new briefing note for operators with existing environmental permits. Relating to the transition to new permits as the EA implements the Industrial Emissions Directive, the full document is available to download from our news blog at http://bit.ly/1l0Sq2r. As previously announced, the key point in the briefing is that all plants with existing permits which will be covered by ‘installation’ permits must have their new or varied permit in place by 7 July 2015. AD operators in this category need to submit a ‘duly made’ application to the EA by 30 September 2014. Area officers should be able to help with any questions, but ADBA members can also contact us regarding any particular issues that may cause problems. The new permitting regime is explained in section 8.1 of the Practical Guide to AD, with further information also available via the Permitting Hub on the members’ area at www.adbiogas.co.uk
Caroline Flint MP has set out Labour’s support for biomethane injection. The Shadow Energy and Climate Secretary pledged that, if elected in 2015, the party would work with National Grid and the Committee on Climate Change to produce recommendations on the ‘policy and regulatory reforms needed to maximise the potential for the development of green gas’. Flint also stressed the economic and environmental benefits that green gas can deliver, arguing that biomethane to grid is a ‘big overlooked area’, which could ‘improve our energy security... cut our carbon emissions and provide a solution to waste management as our landfill capacity declines’. This announcement is obviously welcome and we will work with Labour and the other major parties, ahead of the 2015 General Election, to ensure that the anaerobic digestion and biogas sector is fully recognised in manifestos.
JUNE 2014 | AD & Biogas News
Working Groups Feedstock Group to help tackle cornstarch bag contamination Last month’s meeting of our Feedstock Working Group focused on the issues of gate fees and contamination, with some discussion also centring around local authority tenders and waste increasingly being sent to animal feed. There was consensus among attendees that as more AD capacity comes online, securing feedstock is becoming more difficult, with gate fees generally falling. It was suggested that food waste operators should work more cooperatively to ensure that any feedstock shortages can be addressed, increasing the likelihood of stabilising gate fees. There was also agreement from the group that a ban on biodegradables to landfill and greater support for separate food waste collections are both key to getting unavoidable food waste out of the waste stream and into AD. Regarding contamination, members emphasised that flexibility in terms of front-end capacity is crucial in order to be able to accept contaminated feedstock. However, some attendees argued that the fact that feedstocks are often being hauled long distances is leading to increasing quantities of packaging and greater contamination. The group also expressed frustration that cornstarch bags are continuing to be sent to AD plants, despite the difficulties they cause to many operators. It was agreed that the issue is probably exacerbated by the fact that local authorities are not aware of these difficulties, and are therefore not offering
Cornstarch bags, such as these found in a digestate sample taken by Malaby Biogas, continue to cause problems for some operators
appropriate advice to householders. In the coming months, the group will assist in the drafting of a position paper on the problem of cornstarch bags to provide advice to councils on how this problem can best be tackled. Full minutes are available via the members’ area at www.adbiogas.co.uk
Biomethane for transport takes positive steps forward The most recent meeting of our Transport Working Group saw attendees urge the Department for Transport (DfT) to extend its focus beyond CO2 savings when assessing the benefits of different vehicle sectors. This was in the context of the recent Public Health report, which revealed that long term exposure to air pollution was responsible for 29,000 UK deaths in 2008. In response, DfT’s Clare Boam updated the group on the department’s recent work to boost the biomethane and gas vehicle sector, announcing that progress has been made on the implementation of an important recommendation from DfT’s Low Emission HGV Task Force. The department will be consulting this summer on plans to place biomethane on energy equivalence with diesel for the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO), with the change likely to be in place from April 2015. A full update on the progress that has been made in taking forward the Task Force’s other recommendations is expected in January 2015. Ensuring that the direct use of biomethane in transport is incentivised on a level playing field with biomethane to grid was also raised by the group as a key objective. A suggestion was made for a ‘Renewable Methane Index’, rather than a separate Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and RTFO, which would allow the market to determine the best use of the gas.
buses, with Arriva, Go-Ahead and Stagecoach all active in the market. In addition, attendees noted that the introduction of double-decker gas buses could be a significant boost to the sector – Transport for London alone replaces 1,000 buses each year. David Francis, representing the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), provided the group with information on the recent announcement of £500m funding from OLEV to support ultra-low emission vehicles between 2015-20. This includes £30m set aside for low emission buses, and £4m for HGV gas refuelling infrastructure. More information on how the funding will be implemented will be published this autumn, with a roundtable meeting to gather views taking place this summer. OLEV also informed the group that the European Commission will shortly publish a report paving the way for regulation of HGV CO2 levels. More information on this issue, as well as the other key topics impacting on the market, will be addressed at our second annual UK Biomethane & Gas Vehicle Conference, taking place on 9 September at Northampton Guildhall.
Get involved Our working and operator groups cover the whole spectrum of the AD industry, shaping debate, raising standards and influencing policy. To find out more, or to attend a forthcoming meeting, go to the members’ area at www.adbiogas.co.uk or contact our Policy Officer Jordan Marshall T +44 (0)203 176 5540 E firstname.lastname@example.org
Group members also discussed the encouraging rise in the number of gas 30
AD & Biogas News | JUNE 2014
R&D Update A thriving AD business has R&D at its core
ork is progressing well on our planned R&D Portal. Richard Clubbe, our R&D intern, will be with us for three months, helping to collate and organise the vast number of research centres, funding bodies and research support centres and, most importantly, the relevant people at each site. Distilling this disparate information into easy to use profiles and summaries is the next step in supporting engagement between the academic and industrial communities. The R&D Portal will enable researchers and AD businesses alike to find out what work is ongoing, where the expertise and resources are, and who to speak to about them. It will also detail sources of funding, guidelines on searching for literature, and a catalogue of published reports. Richard’s first task is to identify the expertise of different research centres and businesses, and the areas of interest for the people working there. If you feel that you should be represented in this who’s who of AD R&D contact email@example.com Some of you may be aware of the new R&D Hub, which is set to feature at UK AD & Biogas 2014 (2-3 July, NEC, Birmingham). This will act as a focal point for visitors interested in
For information and advice on our R&D activities, contact our R&D Liaison and PR Manager Rosaline Hulse T +44 (0)203 176 5441 E firstname.lastname@example.org finding out more about the AD R&D community and the potential benefits for their business, as well as highlighting the depth of academic expertise here in the UK. Constant innovation is required to ensure that the AD industry reduces costs and maximises profits in order to navigate the challenging subsidy regime and financial climate, yet R&D is often still considered as a niche interest that can be overlooked. The purpose of the hub is to drive home the message that R&D could make a significant difference to a plant’s operational costs and performance, and to the future development of the industry as a whole. It is fast becoming something that no operator or business working in this increasingly competitive market can afford to ignore. For more information on the R&D Hub at UK AD & Biogas 2014 visit www.adbiogas.co.uk/uk-ad-biogas-2014/rd-hub/
What’s available at the R&D Hub? • Funding clinic • Commercialisation clinic • Presentations • Poster exhibitions • Twice-daily networking events
www.lioncontainers.co.uk/adba.html JUNE 2014 | AD & Biogas News
Membersâ€™ News & Views
AD & Biogas News | JUNE 2014
Members’ News & Views ABP Regulations voice and food waste collections
The risk of disease in the UK food chain is currently at its highest since 2001, as African Swine Fever spreads out of Russia and Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea sweeps through North America. This makes the issue of food chain security in the UK paramount. Here, Dean Pearce, Regional Commercial Manager at ReFood UK, discusses the role of the Animal By-Products Regulations in AD... “Animal by-products (ABP) present a risk to human and animal health – the Foot and Mouth epidemic of 2001 was believed to be caused in part by infected meat in pig swill (catering waste cooked to be fed to pigs), resulting in over a million livestock slaughtered and an approximate £8bn cost to the UK economy. When categorising food waste and ABP, however, there is a strange anomaly with regards to catering waste. If mixed with refuse it is classified as general waste and can be sent to landfill under the waste regulations; yet if the same catering waste is separated, it becomes a Category 3 ABP and therefore subject to ABP Regulations. Consequently, a business operating collections of segregated catering waste must register with the Animal Health & Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) as a transporter of ABP. Each individual collection requires
an ABP movement document which records the collector, collection address, material type, number of bins, approximate weight, time, date, and ABP approved destination, and is signed by the producer of the waste. A copy of that document must be retained by the producer, the carrier, and at the destination, and can be audited by AHVLA at any time. Furthermore, the regulations require the waste to be safely stored in sealed/lidded receptacles; collection vehicles must be leak-proof; and the intermediary depot and end destination (ie the bulking-up depot or AD operator) must be AHVLA approved under the ABP Regulations. Adhering to ABP Regulations is vitally important to ensure that we protect our food chain and its associated businesses from the impact of disease. The result of non-compliance could be potentially devastating.” Do you have an opinion to share with your fellow ADBA members? For a chance to air your views in a future issue, contact Editor Kate O’Reilly: T +44 (0)7894 039609 E email@example.com
JUNE 2014 | AD & Biogas News
Members’ News & Views ADBA members win Queen's Awards for Enterprise
Emerald secures feedstock contract via social media
A trio of ADBA members is celebrating after receiving The Queen’s Award for Enterprise for 2014. Holding the Sustainable Development Award for a second time, Northumbrian Water Limited (NWL) was accredited for its strategy to generate 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, as demonstrated by its use of AD to turn 100% of sewage sludge into energy at two wastewater treatment works. In recognition of Edina’s sustainable solutions to address the world’s growing climate problems, the company received the Innovation Award and was commended on its design and operation in AD power generation, and its commercial success in the UK. Referencing spiralling energy prices, the Queen’s Award Team applauded the efficiency, cost savings and return on investment from Edina’s energy generation products. As a well-established exporter in 16 countries, and with overseas earnings growth of 129% over the last six years, Clarke Energy scooped the prize for International Trade. “We have a successful business model for the delivery of low-carbon and renewable gas-fuelled power plants,” comments Jim Clarke, Chairman of Clarke Energy. www.nwl.co.uk www.edina.eu www.clarke-energy.com
Netwon Aycliffe-based AD operator, Emerald Biogas, has secured a feedstock contract from a local health and wellbeing charity after using social media to promote its commercial services. The Pioneering Care Partnership (PCP) The Pioneering Care Partnership now sends all its food heard about Emerald waste to AD Biogas via the Twitter micro-community ‘AycliffeHour’ and now sends food waste from its coffee shop, staff kitchen and nursery for processing at the £8m AD plant. “The idea of turning our food waste into energy was extremely useful, as we are always looking for ways to reduce waste going to landfill,” explains Carol Gaskarth, Chief Executive of PCP. “We want to reduce our impact on the environment, as well as helping any local economy through the energy produced from the waste generated.” Adam Warren, Director of Emerald Biogas, adds: “Social media is a powerful tool and has been responsible for generating numerous leads for our business. In this instance, being able to help a local community organisation to dispose of its food waste in a greener way is meaningful to both PCP and to Emerald Biogas.” www.emeraldbiogas.com
Members deliver AD solution for energy-intensive business
MT-Energie UK and Hallwick Energy are helping to cut energy bills for a chemical company
AD & Biogas News | JUNE 2014
Hallwick Energy has commenced construction of a 1 MW AD facility at Consett, County Durham, due to be commissioned in October 2014. The plant is being supplied by MT-Energie UK and will produce digestate for local farmers, as well as power and heat for use by neighbouring chemicals and nanotechnology company, Thomas Swan & Co Ltd, stabilising energy costs for one of the region’s key employers. Processing a difficult to ferment substrate of grass, wholecrop silage and maize, the plant will require specialist enzymes to reduce viscosity and make the substrate mixable. Harry Hoskyns Abrahall, Director of Hallwick Energy, remarks: “With this project, we prove that AD is a viable and effective solution which brings benefits not only to farms and households but also to energy-intensive businesses.” www.hallwickenergy.com www.mt-energie.com/gb
Members’ News & Views SNF makes Yorkshire Post’s ‘inspirational’ list
SNF has been declared one of Yorkshire’s 50 fastest growing companies
Polyelectrolyte manufacturer SNF (UK) Ltd, part of the SNF Group, has been named one of Yorkshire's most inspirational companies. The Yorkshire Post’s ‘Fastest 50 2014’, a list of the region’s fastest growing companies, features SNF, which produces speciality chemicals and polyelectrolytes for use in water, effluent and sludge treatment and solid liquid separation. The list highlights privately-owned organisations achieving the largest growth over recent years, creating jobs and securing investment in the Yorkshire economy, and serving as an example to other businesses in the region. Rob Long, Industrial Business Manager for SNF, comments: “This fantastic achievement, based upon our turnover for the last year, is a real accolade.” www.snf.co.uk
Private investment enhances Evergreen Gas services Small scale AD The head office of Evergreen specialist Evergreen Gas, which has recently secured Gas has secured private investment investment from a syndicate of private investors, opening up avenues for new products and services in wider markets. The deal, which follows months of planning, includes four key investors who represent companies with particular expertise in the renewable energy, engineering and waste management sectors. Peter Jarema has been appointed Managing Director of the company, enabling Director Michael Chesshire to step back from the day to day management. “This is an exciting time to be part of Evergreen Gas and I feel very privileged to be able to lead the company into the next phase of its development, which will see it positioning to be increasingly responsive to the needs of the AD and renewables sector,” declares Peter. www.evergreengas.co.uk
AD comes up trumps in Chertsey Agrivert’s Trumps Farm plant is proving a valuable addition to the local waste treatment market
Agrivert is now exporting energy to the grid from its £11m AD plant in Chertsey, Surrey. The Trumps Farm facility has been delivered with a construction programme of less than nine months and is expected to process between 40-50,000 tpa of food waste, producing 2.4 MW of electricity – enough to power over 4,000 homes. The plant is attracting interest from the commercial sector, with Agrivert reporting that contracts have already been agreed with two waste companies serving local authorities in the surrounding area. Harry Waters, Commercial Director, comments: “This plant will provide much needed food waste treatment capacity in the local area, as well as producing valuable renewable energy and fertiliser.” www.agrivert.co.uk
JUNE 2014 | AD & Biogas News
Members’ News & Views FLI Energy at the heart of UK’s flourishing biomethane to grid sector After signing a £9m contract from project developers Strutt and Parker Farms, FLI Energy has commenced construction on a biomethane to grid (BtG) AD project. The contract for the Euston Estate project in Suffolk includes civil and process design, construction and commissioning, five years’ maintenance, and process analysis support, as well as biomethane production using Pentair Haffmans’ upgrading technology, which boasts 100% methane recovery. In addition, the contractor will provide groundworks, secondary containment bunding, drainage, silage clamp, digestate storage, CHP, propane addition, and biomethane network entry. The plant is expected to generate 10million m³ of biogas for upgrading on site, with renewable electricity and heat being used largely to power the plant. Charlie Fillingham, Managing Director of Strutt and Parker Farms, comments: “It is key to the success of such complex renewable energy projects to have early engagement with a specialist turnkey contractor such as FLI Energy.” Declan McGrath, Managing Director of FLI Energy, adds: “Our focus has recently been on the decarbonisation of the gas grid, and
this year, the completion of the Euston project, together with other projects underway, will contribute more than 15million m³ of gas to the grid; the electrical equivalent of powering over 8,000 homes.”
Working together on the Fraddon BtG project. L-R: Winston Reed, Greener for Life Energy, and Chris Long, FLI Energy
FLI Energy has also announced that it has begun construction of the Fraddon BtG project in Cornwall. Using the Carborex MS100 upgrading system from DMT– distributed in the UK by Heat and Power Services – the facility is due to be completed at the end of this year before being handed over to the owner, Greener for Life Energy. www.fligroupco.com www.spfarms.co.uk www.haffmans.nl www.heatandpowerltd.co.uk www.greenerforlife.co.uk
Movers and Shakers Biogen bids farewell to Richard Barker
Biogen has announced the resignation of its Chief Executive, Richard Barker. Richard, also an ADBA board member, has decided to prioritise his recovery from leg injuries sustained in a serious accident in February. John Ibbett, Chairman, states: “Both personally and on behalf of the board, I would like to thank Richard for his immense contribution to the success of Biogen and wish him and his family all the very best with his recovery and future.” Julian O’Neill, currently Finance Director, has taken on the role of Chief Executive Officer. www.biogen.co.uk
KWS launches online maize soil temperature service
KWS has launched a live service for farmers and advisors to assess maize soil temperatures, pre, during and after drilling. Using a postcode finder, the free tool displays the soil temperature at 10cm for the five closest weather stations to a specific farm. Surface temperature is also shown, to highlight the risk of frost. www.kws-uk.com See our feature on p10, ‘Crops for AD’
Energy Minister opens Tamar plant
The Rt Hon Greg Barker MP, Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, has officially opened Tamar Energy’s newest AD facility in Retford, Nottinghamshire. The 3 MW joint venture between Tamar Energy and Sutton Grange Anaerobic Digestion will process agricultural waste, manures and maize. “Energy from waste is an essential part of the energy mix. It’s a win-win – helping to drive low carbon energy and helping reduce bills for hardworking consumers,” said Greg Barker MP. www.tamar-energy.com 36
AD & Biogas News | JUNE 2014
Award success for Barfoots
Barfoots of Botley has won the ‘Environmental/Sustainability Award’ at SHD Logistics’ first industry awards ceremony. Held at London’s Park Lane Hotel, the event was hosted by comedian Miles Jupp and celebrated success across the industry. www.barfoots.co.uk
Pentair Haffmans appoints new Director
Pentair Haffmans has announced the appointment of Ivan Williams as Global Commercial Director, CO2 & Biogas Systems. Prior to joining Pentair Haffmans, Ivan was Managing Director of ASCO Carbon Dioxide Ltd of Christchurch, New Zealand, and Vice President of CO2 Technology for the Messer Group GmbH in Krefeld, Germany. www.haffmans.nl
Members’ News & Views Are you missing out on valuable R&D cashback? As part of our membership services, we have partnered with R&D tax credit advisors, Innovation Plus. Director Micah Levy (pictured) recently spoke to AD & Biogas News Editor, Kate O’Reilly, and explained how getting cashback from research and development (R&D) investment is much easier than you might think...
Q What qualifies as R&D? A “The definition of R&D for tax purposes is much broader than the traditional perception. The phrase ‘R&D’ often conjures up images of scientists in white coats with rows of test tubes, but it can actually be summed up simply as: ‘devising clever solutions to difficult technical problems’. Virtually all of the R&D tax credit claims we handle are for development, not research – improving an existing process, for example, qualifies as R&D.” Q How do R&D tax credits work? A “Basically, companies can claim back up to 32.6% of their qualifying R&D expenditure (that is, revenue, not capital, expenditure). If a firm is profitable, it can use the R&D tax credit scheme to reduce its tax bill, while loss-making companies can claim the credit back in cash. Companies can claim retrospectively for up to two financial years.” Q What are the benefits of using your service compared to a traditional accountant? A “Unlike accountants, who tend to simply ask how much qualifying R&D you have for tax purposes (which companies rarely know), we take a technology driven approach that means we work closely with our clients’ key technical staff to maximise claims. Because we work on a success fee basis, we take on all the risk, and are therefore incentivised to find all your qualifying activity rather than just the ‘low-hanging fruit’. Our success rate across all industries is 100%.” Q How long does a claim take to process, and what’s the cost? A “We’ve handled claims from £50m down to a few thousand pounds and the average claim takes around 6-8 weeks, until final payment. We operate on a no-win no-fee basis, with no upfront payment required, and offer preferential rates for ADBA members.” To find out how much your company could save, contact: T+44 (0)203 004 9243 E firstname.lastname@example.org www.inplus.co.uk
JUNE 2014 | AD & Biogas News
Membership Matters seepex.com
AD & Biogas News | JUNE 2014
2-3 jul 2014
2 jul 2014
9 sep 2014
4 NOV 2014
UK AD & Biogas 2014 Hall 3, NEC, Birmingham
UK AD & Biogas Industry Awards 2014
Our third annual industry awards will highlight AD innovation and achievement from the last 12 months in 11 diverse categories, raising the profile and benefits of the industry in the process. Join us to celebrate this year’s AD and biogas successes in an evening of great company, fine food and excellent entertainment. Book your ticket or table at www.adbiogas.co.uk Find out more and see the full shortlist on p23
Concourse Suites 1-2, NEC, Birmingham
UK Biomethane & Gas Vehicle Conference 2014 Northampton Guildhall, Northampton
ADBA Farmers’ AD Intro Meetings St Olaves Hotel, Exeter
6 NOV The Maid’s Head, Wicken, 2014 Cambridge 18 NOV 2014
Shrewsbury Town Football Club, Shrewsbury
19 NOV 2014
North Lakes Hotel, Penrith, Cumbria
9 dec 2014
The UK's only trade show dedicated exclusively to AD and biogas features 250+ exhibitors, 3,500 visitors, a free conference, 22 free seminar sessions, one-to-one advice clinics and a brand new R&D Hub. Find out more and register at www.adbiogas.co.uk See our full preview on p16
ADBA National Conference 2014 One Great George Street, London
Our second UK Biomethane & Gas Vehicle Conference will bring together local authorities, the transport sector and biomethane producers. Hear from organisations already running biomethane fleets, network with key industry contacts, and find out the latest developments in biomethane as a transport fuel, including: funding, urban air quality, and the current biomethane infrastructure. www.adbiogas.co.uk
Our new series of informal, farmer-only events provide an introduction to anaerobic digestion (AD), an overview of AD options for your farming businesses, what to consider when designing an AD plant, and what support and expert advice is available to help get your AD project off the ground. Organised by ADBA in partnership with FM BioEnergy, the meetings are free to attend and include an AD plant site visit. Register now at www.adbiogas.co.uk
Our high profile National Conference returns this December, looking at the prospects for AD in 2015-2020 and what we as an industry can achieve. Providing the perfect opportunity to discuss future industry policy and upcoming market opportunities with leading political and industry figures, the event will include presentations, panel discussions, Q&A, networking, and table top exhibitions. www.adbiogas.co.uk
JUNE 2014 | AD & Biogas News
Membership Matters Join ADBA – the voice of the AD industry Our members enjoy a host of valuable benefits, keeping them at the forefront of the AD industry. From policy advice and support, in-depth market analysis and exclusive business opportunities, to free PR and discounted tickets to our events, we ensure you’re always one step ahead. To find out more, contact Wayne Hurley, our Head of Membership: E email@example.com T +44 (0)203 176 5416. Or come and meet us in person on the ADBA stand at UK AD & Biogas 2014, 2-3 July, NEC, Birmingham.
Members engage directly with regulators at ADBA’s first Regulator Day Set up to inform members of the latest changes to AD regulations and compliance, our inaugural ADBA Regulator Day for AD operators, developers and consultants took place on 23 May at the Leeds offices of Walker Morris.
Driving home the benefits of biomethane Biomethane has an important role to play in decarbonising HGVs and bus fleets, in turn improving urban air quality while reducing vehicle noise. Our second UK Biomethane & Gas Vehicle Conference (9 September, Northampton Guildhall) will consider these benefits and more, alongside the barriers currently preventing biomethane from reaching its full potential as a vehicle fuel. In association with Low Emissions Strategy and supported by the Northampton Enterprise Partnership, this event will bring together professionals from the AD industry, local authorities, government departments and agencies, fleet operators, and those interested in the use of biomethane for transport to discuss the latest developments and barriers, and to hear case studies from those already running biomethane fleets. Find out more at www.adbiogas.co.uk
“ADBA is the leading association for stakeholders in the anaerobic digestion industry. Membership provides the perfect platform to keep up to speed with the latest news and information, including legislation and policy changes. Regular and timely Members’ Meetings also allow for open and frank discussion on the latest news from within the industry, as well as providing networking opportunities.” Rob Long, SNF (UK) Ltd
Welcome new ADBA members! Activated Carbon Services Ltd Allvalves Biorenewables Development Centre DW Hunter Elsoms Seeds Ermine Farms Ltd Green Roots Farming Northey Technologies Ltd Rockscape Energy Smart BioSystems UK Ltd Total Gas and Power University of Southampton Waste4Generation 40
AD & Biogas News | JUNE 2014
Attendees had the opportunity to hear from and engage directly with the Environment Agency (EA), Health and Safety Executive (HSE), and Defra’s Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA), who all emphasised the role of industry in developing best practice, reiterating that regulators cannot provide the same level of guidance themselves. It was clear that, as an industry, we need to learn from past incidents and the regulators are keen to share information with ADBA members to help achieve this: the EA have done so already and HSE will also be sharing their presentation from the day. The regulators’ presentations all highlighted the importance of considering regulatory requirements at the design stage, as well as the need for high operational standards, led by competent staff. In addition, a discussion on bunding requirements could lead to new clarification, for which we are now gathering evidence. To find out more about our next Regulator Day this autumn, or to register your attendance, go to www.adbiogas.co.uk
“The Ulster Farmers' Union (UFU) is looking to develop small scale (sub 25 kW) AD solutions for our farming membership in Northern Ireland. ADBA membership has proved very worthwhile by way of networking with likeminded technical and practical AD experts, both at the ADBA National Conference and UK AD & Biogas trade show.” Gary Hawkes, Ulster Farmers’ Union
Safety First Preventing a serious pollution incident “Secondary containment and monitoring of AD tank contents is essential for successful AD operation – digestate escape can result in serious pollution incidents, threatening the environment and human health, and risking loss of confidence in the industry. Well thought-out plant design and construction of primary and secondary containment, incorporating effective infrastructure standards and control measures, is therefore integral to preventing such incidents. A range of detection and protection devices should be used to support a good system of written management and operating procedures, such as: overfill alarms; fail-safe actuated valves fitted on tanks; alarms to detect pressure drops on pipework, loss of tank volume and presence of liquid in dry areas; text alerts; site security guards; and regular systems checks by qualified electricians. The buildup of foam – which may form as a result of overloading, the presence of detergents or high nitrogen content feedstocks – can cause blockages to gas off-takes and pressure relief valves, leading to gas and liquid escapes, roofs lifting off and even tank failure. Effective process monitoring and control, together with foam handling features such as foam sensors and water sprays, can prevent or control the damaging effects of foaming.
Viv Dennis is a Senior Advisor at the Environment Agency (EA), where he leads on national biowaste policy matters, in particular AD, composting and MBT. He spent a number of years with one of the UK’s leading waste management companies, before joining local government waste regulation and then the EA. Viv managed various local delivery teams for the EA before moving to the national office waste policy team over six years ago. Sub-surface tanks and pipework pose additional risks, and plant designs should take these into account, incorporating features such as secondary/ tertiary containment and leakage detection measures. And don’t forget the importance of regular plant checks and maintenance. Serious pollution incidents can be caused by a seal or simple pipe joint failure, while failure of mechanical stirrer fixings or a faulty agitator, for instance, can create holes in digester tanks, causing leaks or a complete loss of tank contents.” The Environment Agency (EA) sets the environmental standard for AD operators. Advice is provided in the EA guide ‘How to comply with your environmental permit’, which references other sector-specific technical guidance, industry codes of practice, assurance schemes, industry standards and British Standards. BSI has started work to develop a new national standard (BS 17800) covering the design and construction of AD plants, and the EA supports ADBA’s development of an AD best practice guide and scheme.
firstname.lastname@example.org JUNE 2014 | AD & Biogas News
Membership Matters Members air their views on key industry issues Our April Members’ Meeting, held at the offices of Maclay Murray and Spens, proved to be the most lively to date, sparking in-depth discussions between speakers and delegates on issues including FIT degression, the length of time taken by Ofgem to accredit projects, and changes to the RHI. In her opening address, our Chief Executive, Charlotte Morton, focused on the continuing success of the UK’s AD industry, reporting that 143 plants are now operational (outside of the water sector) – a year on year increase of 31%. (This figure has since risen to 145.) However, Charlotte warned against complacency, drawing attention to the Environment Agency’s recent report on AD-related incidents (see p8), and reaffirmed the need for good operational standards. In an exciting development for the biomethane industry, Charlotte also announced that a major supermarket has become a shareholder in Green Gas Trading, following significant due diligence to test the robustness of the systems and processes behind GGT’s Biomethane Certification Scheme (see p4).
The first session’s main focus, however, was updates to AD policy. Matt Hindle, Policy Manager, and Ollie More, Market Analyst, outlined the association’s key policy work over the last six months, across areas such as support for small scale AD, bioenergy policy, and changes to the RHI biomethane injection tariff. Explaining that FIT degression for sub 500 kW plants has now been triggered, Matt informed the audience that ADBA would be attending a government roundtable meeting in June to discuss how the small scale AD sector could be supported going forward. Following delegates’ comments over the length of time taken by Ofgem to accredit projects, Matt assured the audience that all FIT-related issues were high on ADBA’s agenda and invited members to get in touch to share their experiences. The first session closed with a presentation on G's Marketing's AD plant by Cath Anthony of Bidwells. The Feed-in Tariff returned to the agenda following the break, with DECC’s Katie Halter outlining that State Aid Guidance could well have an impact on any future changes to UK subsidy schemes. The Commission is keen to introduce more competition to support mechanisms which could eventually restrict FIT support to new plants below 1 MW. Any support above that level would need to be on a competitive basis (possibly similar to the Contracts for Difference model), though derogations for certain technologies at earlier stages of development may be possible.
TEAM Chief Executive, Charlotte Morton T + 44 (0)203 176 0503 E email@example.com Policy Manager, Matt Hindle T +44 (0)203 176 0591 E firstname.lastname@example.org Policy Officer, Jordan Marshall T +44 (0)203 176 5440 E email@example.com Market Analyst, Ollie More T +44 (0)203 567 0751 E firstname.lastname@example.org Head of Membership, Wayne Hurley T +44 (0)203 176 5416 E email@example.com Sales Manager Jamil Ahad T +44 (0)203 176 4414 E firstname.lastname@example.org Sales Executive, Rachel Fenton T +44 (0)203 176 5418 E email@example.com Head of Marketing Services, Helen Reddick T +44 (0)203 176 0592 E firstname.lastname@example.org Marketing Manager, Annika Herter T +44 (0)203 176 0590 E email@example.com
Nina Sweet of WRAP then delivered an insightful presentation on the latest issues surrounding digestate and drew attention to issues with plastics contamination, before the focus again returned to subsidies, where Steve Roberts and Pippa Morgan of DECC faced some tough questioning from members regarding the criteria for ‘new’ projects wishing to claim RHI.
Creative Marketing Manager, Matthew Ireland T +44 (0)203 176 4415 E firstname.lastname@example.org
The meeting was brought to a close by Duncan Carter of Ofgem, who requested feedback from members regarding regulatory barriers for injecting biomethane into the gas grid, followed by Oliver Vigano of Schmack Biogas, who revealed details of the company’s exciting work with Jones Celtic Bioenergy to deliver a dry fermentation AD solution for Fife City Council.
R&D Liaison and PR Manager, Rosaline Hulse T +44 (0)203 176 5441 E email@example.com
“As well as providing an opportunity for networking, the event was also useful for seeing where the industry is heading, helping us to plan our business strategy going forward.” Tim Elsome, Business Development Manager, FM BioEnergy
AD & Biogas News | JUNE 2014
Marketing Executive, Kelly Oxenham T +44 (0)203 176 5417 E firstname.lastname@example.org Marketing Executive, Barbara Landell Mills T +44 (0)203 176 7767 E email@example.com
R&D Intern, Richard Clubbe T +44 (0)203 176 0769 E firstname.lastname@example.org Accountant, Amy Pritchard T +44 (0)203 176 6962 E email@example.com Office Executive, Peter Mackintosh T +44 (0)203 176 0503 E firstname.lastname@example.org AD Finance, Bruce Nelson, Director of Compass Renewables T +44 (0)1732 464495 E email@example.com AD & Biogas News Managing Editor, Kirsty Sharpe T +44 (0)1920 821873 E firstname.lastname@example.org AD & Biogas News Editor, Kate O’Reilly T +44 (0)7894 039609 E email@example.com
JUNE 2014 | AD & Biogas News
AD & Biogas News | JUNE 2014