UK: Pig manure biogas plant under construction

14-10-2009 | |

WELtec BioPower have begun building another 500-kW biogas plant in Gnossall, Stafford. The plant in Staffordshire, West Midlands, England, will be commissioned in January 2010.

The investor and farmer will first operate the plant with pig manure and 2,000 tonnes of maize silage a year. Later on, he plans to ferment food leftovers, for which an extension to the plant is already being planned.

The plant consists of a stainless-steel digester with a capacity of 107,357 cu ft, two storage tanks of 18,893 cu ft each, and a pasteurisation unit.

England is the second-largest biogas producer after Germany. The potential is sufficient to supply about 2 million homes with electricity and 1.5 million homes with heat. Nevertheless, as an energy source, biogas is still not being used as efficiently as it could.

One of the reasons why the resources are not used is the compensation system: the feed-in tariffs are based on tradable certificates (Renewable Obligation Certificate – ROC). Despite the variable feed-in tariffs, the willingness to invest in decentralised energy generation plants is rising slowly but steadily. This is because in the long run, gas prices are bound to increase. Though the investment ratio for plants utilising abattoir waste, plants, and animal excrements has only been 2% so far, the trend is moving up.