Low carbon, low cost renewable energy from organic waste

Anaerobic digestion plays a role in the supply and security of the UK's energy needs, by producing 24/7 low cost, low-carbon power.

Our anaerobic digestion (AD) plants turn organic waste into power, biofertiliser and water. Our current combined capacity of 11 MW provides enough renewable energy for over 22,000 homes – that’s the equivalent of the entire population of Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire.

Renewable energy is produced from three main sources of organic material that goes into our network of anaerobic digestion (AD) plants; from the food processing industry, agricultural sources and ‘post-consumer’ organic waste (food waste from municipal, household and industrial and commercial sources including hotels, supermarkets, prisons, schools and hospitals) and agricultural sources.

In 2015, there were over 200 operational AD plants (outside of water sector) in the UK, with a combined capacity 210 MW – enough to generate power for over 500,000 homes.

AD plays a role in the supply and security of the UK’s energy, as it produces cost-effective 24/7 baseload, low carbon energy. This is different to the intermittent sources of energy from other renewable power sources, like tidal or wind.

All the net output from the AD process is carbon positive, as none of the underlying material used is destroyed.

In addition, we are helping local and national Government meet a number of policy and legislative targets concerning waste, renewable energy and carbon dioxide emissions.

For example, we calculated that the additional food waste created at Christmas alone would be enough to generate power for 2.5 million Christmas trees for a fortnight.

Additional waste at Christmas

Christmas waste power generation

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