KENILWORTH & SOUTHAM MP BACKS LOCAL BIOGAS INDUSTRY
Kenilworth and Southam MP, Rt Hon Jeremy Wright QC, visited Stoneleigh based businesses operating within the anaerobic digestion (AD) industry on Friday, 8 April, to learn how they support the local economy and jobs.
By building and supplying AD technology to British farmers across the UK, Stoneleigh Park based agriKomp and Stoneleigh Abbey based Weltec Biopower are delivering vital baseload power, decarbonising the energy, waste and farming sectors, and improving food production .
After his visit to both businesses, Jeremy Wright MP commented:
“Anaerobic digestion has a great deal to offer in both energy generation and waste disposal and it was good to see locally based firms operating in this sector. They are adding to Stoneleigh’s strength as a centre for rural industries and innovation.”
The Chief Executive of the industry trade body (ADBA), Charlotte Morton, added:
“We were pleased that Jeremy took the time to listen to the AD businesses operating in his constituency and offered pragmatic and proactive support in raising industry concerns with the relevant government departments.
“AD offers our homes much more than round-the-clock green energy alone. It reduces the UK’s carbon footprint, reverses soil degradation that is estimated to cost the UK £1.2 billion a year, limits our reliance on imported energy and artificial fertilisers, and integrates perfectly into existing farming businesses to support rural economies the length and breadth of the British isles.
“During his visit Mr Wright learned of the local industry’s uncertain future amidst falling tariff support and a severely restrictive cap on continued deployment. With support capable of sustaining the recent surge in AD deployment, the industry could significantly improve its already excellent return on investment over the next five years, potentially delivering 30 per cent of the UK’s domestic heat or electricity and employing a further 30,000 people.”
AgriKomp’s General Manager, Quentin Kelly-Edwards, explained:
“AD has proved to play a major part in providing base load electricity, district heating and biomethane in the renewable energy mix across Europe. The challenge is it takes longer to deploy compared to other renewables, so requires longer term support from the Government to reach maturity and fulfil its role in the energy market. We are constantly developing new products & processes towards making AD more efficient, to not only become a significant part of the UK renewables sector, but a truly global product.
“With our focus on agricultural plants, we are committed to providing farmers with market leading technology that is simple, cost effective and highly efficient, which in turn enables them to create much needed additional revenue streams at a time when agriculture faces challenges. By utilising on farm waste, particularily slurry and manures, the potential is there to provide much needed employment to rural communities and electricity and heat to the nation.”
Weltec Biopower’s UK Sales Manager, Dr Kevin Monson, added:
“AD is very much a sector that provides many diverse benefits for ‘UK plc’, and is therefore worth supporting at Government level.
“AD provides home-grown secure renewable energy, safe baseload power that we don’t have to buy from Russia or the Middle East, de-centralised energy supply, availability of organic wastes from Lands-End to John O’Groats, dealing with materials that would otherwise go to landfill or cause pollution. AD also provides a profitable use for break-crops, recycles organic materials to land, enhancing soil quality, provides long-term employment in rural areas, and underpins/safeguards farms incomes – often keeping them in business meaning they can continue to produce food!”
Images from Mr Wright’s visit to agriKomp and of a Weltec Biopower AD plant can be found online here. Included in the agriKomp image from left to right are: Kenilworth and Southam MP, Rt Hon Jeremy Wright QC; agriKomp Director, Steven Cook; and agriKomp General Manager, Quentin Kelly-Edwards.