The NFU’s chief adviser on renewable energy and climate change, Dr Jonathan Scurlock, is speaking today (3 July) at the UK AD and World Biogas Expo 2019 in Birmingham.
At a workshop session on Diversifying Farm Incomes – The Energy and Non-Energy Benefits of Anaerobic Digestion, Dr Scurlock will talk about the NFU’s increased level of ambition on climate change and aspiration to reach net zero across agricultural production and land use by 2040.
He will tell delegates that the NFU believes British farmers and growers should embrace a range of diversification opportunities to deliver public goods post-Brexit, but is concerned that the future of small-scale on-farm anaerobic digestion will be limited unless Defra provides support for the multiple environmental outcomes that AD can provide – including carbon storage through improved soil management techniques, such as spreading digestate as a soil amendment.
He will also talk about the good growth prospects for large-scale AD biomethane plants, as the most technology-ready way to decarbonise heat supply by replacing fossil natural gas in the gas network. In the longer term, this could be a pathway for greenhouse gas removal – by using the separated CO2 as a feedstock for ‘power-to-gas’, combining it with hydrogen from renewable electricity to make synthetic methane, other fuels or long-life bioplastics to replace petrochemicals.
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