Plans to boost anaerobic digestion in Wales

Establishing on-farm anaerobic digesters in Wales could be made easier thanks to a new waste plan to be unveiled by the Welsh government.

The Agricultural Waste Sector Plan (AWSP) is due to be launched later this month and the farming industry is hopeful that anaerobic plants will be a key element of it.

The Welsh government says it recognises the role that farm-based anaerobic digestion may play in producing energy on a local scale in addition to promoting the efficient use of nutrients produced on farms.

A spokeswoman said the Welsh government was looking closely at whether it would be appropriate to offer further support to stimulate investment in on-farm renewables.

The AWSP is one of a suite of plans being developed under Towards Zero Waste – a long-term framework for managing waste in Wales until 2050.

“The Agricultural Waste Sector Plan will describe the role of the sector and how it will deliver the objective of the Towards Zero Waste strategy,” added the spokeswoman.

Shadow minister for rural affairs, Antoinette Sandbach, believes there is huge potential for anaerobic digestion on Welsh farms but that many on-farm projects become mired in red tape and opposition from planning authorities.

“While England is pressing ahead with support for anaerobic digestion, it is vital that Wales is not left behind,” she said.

“I hope that this new plan for agricultural waste will have support for anaerobic digestion at its heart.”

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