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The RHI consultation: AADO members respond

Published here are the documents submitted in response to the recent government consultation on the future structure and scope of the Renewable Heat Incentive ‘A reformed and refocused scheme’, which ran from 3rd March to 27th April.

AADO members responded in full to the questions posed in the consultation using evidence from the current AD marketplace to inform their remarks. Amongst other items, challenges have been made to the government’s assumptions of potential industry growth given waste food feedstock availability (overlaid with new restrictions in support for the use of farm crops), and the potential ending of support for the use of heat to dry digestate. Within the response, alternative proposals were made for the more efficient use of tax payers’ money to incentivise renewable energy technology deployment, with the aim of contributing a greater quantity of renewable heat to our RED 2020 renewable energy targets than currently targeted by DECC within the proposed scheme parameters.

RHI – Appendix 1 – Availability of Food Waste

RHI – Comments on the RHI – April 2016

RHI – Introduction and Background – April 2016

AADO members contribute evidence to 5 year ‘Digestate and Compost in Agriculture (DC-Agri)’ study, now published by WRAP

In the press release accompanying the publication of the DC-Agri study (Feb 16), WRAP states that ‘Farmers’ use of renewable fertilisers (is) to be revolutionised by new research’.  The study demonstrates that digestate and compost can increase yields and reduce bills with no negative impact on crop quality or safety.

Following a programme of field experiments, ‘Data confirms that food-based digestate – a product of anaerobic digestion – is a valuable source of readily available nitrogen; the single most important nutrient influencing crop yields. ..  In addition, both digestate and compost provide crops with a measured boost of phosphorus, potassium and sulphur, helping to maintain soil fertility.  Crops grown with an integrated nutrient plan combining bagged fertilisers and digestate or compost resulted in higher yields and better financial returns.’  Further detail is provided on the optimum timing and method of application, to gain maximum value, and, for compost, the duration of use.

Alongside other operators, AADO members contributed data and material for this study to be completed.  It is pleasing that the positive benefits of renewable fertilisers are recognised and consolidated with the publication of WRAP’s good practice guides, to encourage their wider uptake by farmers.

To read more on the research data and the resultant ‘guides to good practice’ published by WRAP, please use the links below:


DC-Agri homepage, with links to project reports and good practice guidance:


Wrap’s press release in full: WRAP Press Release

AADO secures clarification of Partial Harmonisation proposed by the European Commission for biofertiliser prior to release of the amended EU Fertilisers Regulation

The Association of Anaerobic Digestion Operators (AADO) is pleased to announce it has secured confirmation of the Partial Harmonisation methodology proposed by the European Commission for the management of digestate prior to the announcement of the amendment to the EU Fertilisers Regulation due under the Circular Economy review later this year.

Since autumn 2014, concerns have been raised by AADO and the wider AD industry over the proposed inclusion of organic fertilisers, notably biofertiliser (as product status digestate is known), in the EU Fertilisers Regulation for the first time.  The concerns raised were two-fold:

1. That proposals to include minimum nutrient content requirements for Organic Fertilisers and Organic Soil Improvers were completely unnecessary, and UK digestates would not be able to attain these minimum requirements as they were far in excess of UK AD operational limits and biofertiliser content.

2. The inclusion of biofertiliser within the Fertilisers Regulation would render obsolete the UK’s End of Waste scheme for digestate from AD, which has been successfully operating for several years; namely PAS110 and associated ADQP administered by the Biofertiliser Certification Scheme (BCS).

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AADO supports DECC’s removal of FiT pre-accreditation for new AD plants

The Association of Anaerobic Digestion Operators (AADO) welcomes DECC’s decision to end pre-accreditation of anaerobic digestion plants under the Feed-in Tariff scheme (FITs). 

The lack of availability of waste food products for digestion in AD plants is reaching critical levels with gate fees for some wastes moving into negative territory, threatening the viability of existing operations, while new plants continue to be built.  In addition, the high rate of government support paid to biomethane injection plants, accredited under the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme (RHI), has created an imbalance within the AD marketplace as biogas combustion plants receive significantly less support, and are therefore less resilient to gate fee variations. 

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Minister backs industry’s plans to tackle food waste recycling

Reproduced with permission from WRAP.


Work kicked off on the new action plan for food waste recycling last week, when key players from across the industry got together for the inaugural meeting in Birmingham; initiated by resource efficiency experts WRAP and chaired by waste and resources specialist, Ray Georgeson.

Together the group will shape and deliver the plan; working to identify tangible, industry led actions to maximise the amount of household and commercial food waste collected and recycled in England.

Food waste prevention will remain a priority, but despite the UK’s best efforts to minimise food waste there is still seven million tonnes wasted every year by households alone – and there will always be a significant proportion of unavoidable food waste. Increasing the volume of food waste recycled could provide a huge boost to England’s plateauing recycling rates and help the UK deliver on the EU target of 50% recycling by 2020.

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