To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress has been made by his Department in assisting the development and usage of systems to recover methane from landfills and waste-water treatment plants.
My Department in its comprehensive waste management research programme has sponsored a considerable body of work on the optimisation of landfill gas production and methods relating to its improved management. Apart from research into the control of landfill gas for safety, there are 10 research projects set up in collaboration with the energy technology support unit of the Department of Trade and Industry on the recovery and utilisation of the gas.Direct support for demonstration projects is given by the Department of Trade and Industry. Nine projects receiving support have shown that the extraction and utilisation of landfill gas in boilers, kilns and for the generation of electricity can be economically attractive. Renewables orders made under the 1989 Electricity Act which require regional electricity companies to contract for non-fossil fuel sources of electricity have brought forward 53 projects with a total capacity of 85MW.