UK ADBA: RHI reform delays expected to impact biomethane projects

By Erin Voegele | May 31, 2017

In the U.K., the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association has lowered its forecast for new biomethane plants expected to be commissioned this year, citing a delay with Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) reforms.

The ABDA now expects eight to 20 new biomethane plants to be commissioned this year, down from its previous projection of 10-25.

The association explains that the RHI tariff for Tier 1 biomethane plants, those injecting up to 40 GWh per year, is currently 3.56 pence (5 cents) per kWh. RHI reforms were expected to increase that rate to 5.35 pence per kWh. However, those reforms have not yet been put before parliament due to the calling of the general election. While the ADBA said it expects a new minister for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will likely be supportive of RHI reforms, the legislation enacting those changes could be delayed until this fall.

According to the ABDA, delays in enacting the reforms means that many biomethane projects will be pushed back until next year. While slower growth in the industry is expected this year, the association said it expects development of biomethane projects to rebound in 2018.

The ABDA indicated it is aware of 57 biomethane plants in various planning phases. Together, these projects have the potential to inject up to 35,000 cubic meters per hour of biomethane into the grid.