02 June 2011, 19:05 BST
The Coalition Government in England has produced its first draft action plan on Anaerobic Digestion (AD) to help increase the production of energy from biowaste.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced an anaerobic digestion framework document that aims to set out the steps needed to increase energy from waste in England through AD.
The document followed on from the previous government's implementation plan released earlier this year in March. This previous document, entitled Accelerating the Uptake of Anaerobic Digestion in England: an Implementation Plan was designed to set the country on a path to extract more energy from renewable sources.
Eight areas were highlighted in the latest plan that the government said it would be focusing on, including: improving understanding of the AD landscape; raising awareness of AD - community AD and localism; improving access to finance; building UK skills; smarter regulation; building safe and secure markets for digestate; building markets for biomethane for transport fuels and AD in the rural community.
The document stated: "The emphasis has been on introducing AD as a ?technology? and we now need to focus on commercialising the markets for input feedstock and digestate use in order to facilitate commercialisation of the technology and access to finance."
It added: "Recent growth in the sector has been due to a number of factors but notably clarity of financial incentives, availability of capital grants, development of a digestate standard and quality protocol and perhaps, most importantly, recognition of the valuable role that AD technology has to play in delivering a series of environmental objectives. In recognition of this, government policy is to specifically deliver an increase in energy from waste through AD."
Climate Change minister, Greg Barker said: "We need to be far more ambitious in getting energy from waste.
"Today's document signals the start of a collective approach between industry and government to increase the amount of anaerobic digestion over the next few years.
"This is a key part of the Coalition's vision of a much greater role for local energy and puts power back in the hands of communities.
"Anaerobic digestion cuts carbon emissions, helps ensure energy security, creates green jobs and reduces biodegradable waste going to landfill."
A full review of waste policy is currently underway and is due to report in spring 2011. In addition to AD, other energy from waste technologies will be examined, as part of the Government's overall approach to moving towards a zero-waste economy.
The development of a strategy for AD will feed in to work on the Waste Review.
Source: Green Energy UK