Press Release: NNFCC Publishes 2020 Edition of Anaerobic Digestion Deployment in the UK Report

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Press Release, 1st May 2020: NNFCC publishes seventh annual ‘AD Deployment in the UK’ report

York, ​1st May 2020 - NNFCC has published the seventh edition of its annual Anaerobic Digestion Deployment in the UK report. The report is free to all AD Subscribers or is available to purchase here. The report summarises the developments in the UK’s AD industry over the past 12 months and looks ahead to future developments in the sector.

The level of activity in the AD industry over the past 12-months is once again not reflected in the latest deployment figures and does not reflect the ambition of our industry. Only 7 new plants have commissioned since April 2019, adding a modest 3.4MWe of capacity and increasing biomethane flow to the grid by just over 2,000Nm3/hr. Despite 47 plants being under construction at this time last year, many are yet to reach or complete the commissioning phase due to the inclement weather conditions in the first quarter of 2020 immediately followed by the Covid-19 pandemic and associated restrictions.

The current restrictions are not only proving problematic for those in development; operational plants are being impacted by lack of feedstock. Despite food waste collections being deemed a priority for Local Councils, the closure of educational establishments, food service outlets and the hospitality sector have led to a significant decline in waste arisings, creating issues for those relying on such waste as their only or main feedstock source.

Lucy Hopwood, NNFCC’s Lead Consultant for Bioenergy and Anaerobic Digestion comments “It’s been another turbulent year, in which we expected to see a significant rise in numbers but we’re reporting a much more modest growth with many plants in construction facing unforeseen challenges in recent months. Thankfully, it seems Government are sympathetic to the situation and all the progress won’t be in vain.”

Despite the industry stalling over recent months, partly due to the closure of the FIT scheme and with the end of the RHI looming and additional time pressures on projects with a tariff guarantee, the future still looks promising. It was announced in the Chancellor’s Spring Budget statement that the government is allocating an additional £10 million in 2020-21 to support the design and delivery of net zero policies and programmes, within which biomethane is expected to feature strongly. Subsequent announcements from BEIS this week have clarified support for biomethane injection to the gas grid, in the form of a Green Gas Support Scheme, is set to stay until 2025/26, with the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO) committing to support biomethane as far out as 2032.

Lucy adds “For many, the recent announcements have been a blessing, extending the commissioning window in light of the current restrictions and providing an insight into an extended period of future support. We look forward to another year of development in the AD sector and will be keenly following it, working with operators, developers and investors to overcome remaining challenges.”

To purchase the report please click here.

For more information:

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 Lucy Hopwood, the report author at

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, RO, or RTFO (in line with policy guidance).

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 be found here.

Notes to Editors

NNFCC Ltd 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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