AD is an environmentally friendly, cost-effective solution to dealing with much of what we think of as “waste”. Instead of burning it, or sending it to landfill, AD plants could potentially turn that “waste”, along with purpose grown crops, into 10% of the UK’s domestic gas, which means less landfill, stable energy prices, fewer carbon dioxide emissions, and even a financial saving for homes, businesses, farms and councils across the country.
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See below for examples of how AD specifically boosts energy security and fights climate change.
- 16% of UK methane emissions come from manure management. Through AD, approximately a third of these emissions can be abated, or around 3% of the UK’s total GHG emissions.
- Separate food waste collections can boost recycling rates by a quarter, reduce waste by a third and save local authorities millions on the cost of disposal.
- For each tonne of food waste processed through AD rather than landfilled, 500 kg of CO2eq emissions are avoided.
- Growing maize for AD is five to nine times more land-use efficient than biodiesel, and has many other benefits, including recycling nutrients back to land.
- AD is already delivering over four times more electricity than solar PV in the UK.
- AD emits only 11g CO2/kWh of electricity generated – over 45 times less than the current grid average pf 500g/kWh.
- When used for heat, biomethane generated from residual wastes could produce GHG savings of up to 92% compared to natural gas.
- AD can produce enough energy to power all of the homes in London nearly three times over.
- Air pollution from vehicles is twice as deadly as traffic accidents, causing 5,000 premature deaths each year. Using biomethane instead of diesel has been proven to reduce air pollution by over 97%.
- GHG emissions can be cut by over 60% by moving from diesel to biomethane vehicles, and fuel costs can also be cut by 13%.
- Oslo’s entire bus fleet is powered by biomethane from sewage treatment and organic waste, achieving 70% GHG emissions reduction compared to diesel vehicles.
- There are over 13 million gas vehicles operating in the world. Italy is the European market leader with over 760,000 vehicles.
- One tonne of artificial fertiliser requires 108 tonnes of water and one tonne of oil, whilst also producing eight tonnes of carbon dioxide in the process.
- Nutrients in digestate could be worth over £200 million to UK farming.