Farmers can calculate the viability of future anaerobic digestion projects by using the latest edition of the AD cost calculator from the National Non Food Crops Centre.

“Despite a stuttering start, the AD industry is beginning to flourish in the UK and we are working with a number of developers keen to expand their assets and find an alternative route for organic waste,” said NNFCC head of biomass and biogas Lucy Hopwood.

“We have worked with developers to produce the AD cost calculator, which as grown over the years to become an indispensable tool to those in the industry because it is not only comprehensive but remains easy to use.”

Start-up costs for AD plants can vary greatly – a farm-based digester using waste from 250 cows and 150ha of maize, with a capacity of around 275kWe can cost upwards of £1.2m, while a typical 2MW digester using 40,000t of food waste could cost three to five times as much to establish.

The viability of AD plants depends upon a variety of factors including the type of feedstock used, the intended use for the biogas and also the end use of the digestate produced, she added.

The new version of the tool, which was developed in collaboration with the Andersons Centre, includes information on the latest government incentives for biogas, variable retention times and monthly cashflow reporting.

*The calculator can be downloaded from www.nnfcc.co.uk/publications

Gemma Mackenzie on G+

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