The conference, taking place on 11th December in Westminster, will bring together those working in AD with politicians, policymakers, academics, and industry experts to discuss how the AD industry can help the UK meet a range of policy goals from tackling climate change to supporting sustainable farming and greening the gas grid. The role of AD in a changing world dominated by Brexit, climate change, and political instability will be the theme of the conference.
AD plants convert organic wastes and purpose-grown crops into renewable heat (in the form of biomethane), power (in the form of biogas), clean transport fuel, and nutrient-rich natural fertiliser. It is estimated that AD has the potential to reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by 5 percent and meet 30 percent of UK domestic energy demand.
Graham Stuart MP, the UK’s Minister for Investment, will discuss opportunities for the UK to export AD technology and expertise abroad as the government looks to strike new trade deals post-Brexit. It is estimated that the global AD industry has the potential to be worth £1 trillion.
Lord Teverson, the Chair of the EU Energy & Environment Sub-Committee in the House of Lords, will share his committee’s findings on the potential impacts of Brexit on the UK’s energy security. Through producing home-grown, clean energy either in the form of renewable heat or renewable baseload power, AD helps to reduce reliance on energy imports and is improving energy security.
James Richardson, Chief Economist at the NIC, will assess AD’s role in creating a low-cost, low-carbon economy. The NIC’s 2018 National Infrastructure Assessment discussed the benefits of biogas as a renewable energy source and called for universal food waste collections across the UK to allow inedible food waste to be recycled into biogas through AD.
The conference will also feature a range of panel sessions covering topics such as Brexit, low-carbon heat, grid connection, on-farm AD, and operational performance of AD plants, with speakers from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, the National Farmers’ Union, Ørsted, Suez, the Environment Agency, Cadent, and Wales & West Utilities, among others.
“We’re delighted to have three highly prestigious keynote speakers on board to join a great array of experts for the ADBA National Conference 2018” said Charlotte Morton, ADBA Chief Executive. “The UK has a huge amount of expertise in AD technology that is ready to be exported around the world, so it will be great for AD operators to hear about these export opportunities directly from the UK’s Minister for Investment. One of the UK AD industry’s particular strengths is recycling inedible food waste, so it will also be interesting to hear from the NIC’s Chief Economist why separate food waste collections and the AD plants that treat this waste are a vital part of the UK’s green infrastructure, and how we can achieve universal collections in England to emulate the success of this policy in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland”.
Ms Morton added that, with Brexit continuing to dominate the headlines and impact on all industries, attendees of the conference will benefit from hearing about what this means for the UK’s energy security from Lord Teverson.