Press Release: NNFCC publishes 4th annual Anaerobic Digestion Deployment Report

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Press Release, 27th April 2017: NNFCC publishes fourth annual ‘AD Deployment in the UK’ report

York, 27th April 2017: Although it’s hard to believe, 12 months has passed since our previous ‘Anaerobic Digestion Deployment in the UK’ report was published, so today sees the release of the fourth edition. The annual report is the culmination of many hours of routine research throughout the year into the progress of the AD market here in the UK. The report is always seen as a valuable resource by those active or with a commercial interest in the AD industry, as it presents a comprehensive picture of both the scale and nature of existing development in the sector. The report goes beyond the present situation by providing projections for future development based on the current planning pipeline and NNFCC’s in-depth knowledge of how AD projects tend to and are likely to progress given the current policy landscape.

At NNFCC we track the progress of all UK-based AD plants, including planning and construction progress, capacity and output, and planned feedstock inputs. In the market report this information is distilled and condensed, giving an overview of AD development activity and recent trends at both at national and regional level, painting a picture of the current and future AD landscape in the UK.

The past year has been full of uncertainty for the AD sector. The UK’s vote to leave the European Union cast huge doubts on the UK’s continued obligation to Europe’s Renewable Energy Directive, thus putting the future of renewable energy support in the UK such as the RHI and FIT in jeopardy. The uncertainty was compounded later in 2016 with the government reshuffle and the formation of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), causing a delay in public consultations on the RHI and the FIT, both of which had potentially huge ramifications for the AD sector. Eventually we got our answers and by early 2017 the short-term future for the industry was looking surprisingly positive, with BEIS responding favourably to the AD industry. However, we are not out of the woods yet, and with the recent closure of the RO, the upcoming election and the added frustration that the RHI regulations were recently laid and subsequently withdrawn from parliament leaves us in a state of limbo on when, and potentially if, this positivity will now transpire.

Despite all this uncertainty, the sector has still seen reasonable growth in the past 12 months, with 85 new AD plants becoming operational, taking the national total over 400, excluding traditional water-treatment facilities. Just over 50 new plants began development, which is a decrease on last year, but one that we previously forecast, and is no doubt down to the uncertainty over the future viability of AD and the typically long project development time.

Lucy Hopwood, Director and Lead Consultant for Bioenergy and Anaerobic Digestion at NNFCC says “Following a year full of surprises, delays and disruptions for the AD industry we are delighted to report positive progress – with now over 400 operational plants and a healthy looking pipeline, the future looks promising. We have supported many existing and new clients over the past 12 months and look forward to continued growth and diversity in the coming year.”

“As we look ahead, we see a future where AD is more entwined in the bioeconomy and where the focus is not only on its energy outputs, but also developing higher value product streams, in turn reducing reliance on the ever dwindling renewable energy support. We are working with others in the industry to recognise the true value potential of biogas by producing more and using less energy in the process, to increase profits and further enhance the UK’s already credible reputation in science and innovation. Look out for further communications on this in coming weeks.”

Where to access the report

The report is available to buy on the NNFCC website, either outright or as part of a business support package. For further information please contact Dr Michael Goldsworthy, the report author on

Sustainability guidance from NNFCC

Whilst tracking the market landscape, NNFCC have been helping AD and bioenergy clients understand what new policies mean for their business and how to strengthen their supply chain, to be resilient to increasingly stringent sustainability policy. We have developed a user-friendly carbon calculator for biogas and biomethane producers to demonstrate compliance with sustainability criteria, for RHI or RO (in line with policy guidance), and also FITs in the future.

NNFCC’s Biomethane & Biogas Carbon Calculator deals with the complexities of multiple feedstocks and is excel-based, making it easy to use, robust and transparent. It also graphically highlights where weaknesses lie in supply chains and where to focus efforts on reducing emissions, to comply with regulation as it is inevitably set to tighten in the future. Access options for the Biomethane & Biogas Carbon Calculator can befound here.

For more information:

Notes to Editors

NNFCC is a specialist bioeconomy consultancy based in York, the UK.  Established by the UK government in 2003 as the National Non-Food Crops Centre, NNFCC has grown to become a leading independent consultancy focused on understanding biorenewable markets and technologies.  They provide global clients with a holistic view of feedstock, technology, policy and market development across the bioeconomy, enabling informed business decisions and sustainable business strategies.  NNFCC also provides technical, market and policy expertise on the conversion of biomass and waste to bioenergy, biofuels and biobased products to the UK government.  See more at

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