NFU says government is “throttling” farm-based renewable energy

The National Farmers Union (NFU) has accused the government of sounding the “death knell” for on-farm biogas production.

While promising to deliver a “robust response” to the current consultation on proposals for the future of Anaerobic Digestion (AD), the union’s headline comment is that “this government seems determined to throttle the life out of the emerging renewable energy market”.

Noting that current proposals include a 27% cut in feed-in tariffs for electricity from small-scale biogas plants, with the tariff for larger plants set to fall to zero (both from January 2017), the NFU’s chief adviser on renewable energy, Dr Jonathan Scurlock, said the whole package is “bad news” for the rural economy.

“After slashing support for the growing solar and biomass industries, the AD plans seem like the unkindest cut of all,” said Dr Scurlock (pictured above).

“The multiple environmental and soil management benefits from widespread deployment of on-farm AD will be lost, including the huge potential for avoiding farmyard methane emissions from manure and slurry.”

Concluding that this is all a bit of an own-goal by the government, he said the NFU and the AD industry will be working together to deliver a “robust response” to the government’s consultation, which runs until July 7.

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