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Anaerobic Digestion Facilities

Volume 508: debated on Thursday 25 March 2010

16. How many anaerobic digestion facilities for the disposal of fallen stock have been opened in each of the last three years. (324066)

Disposal of fallen stock by means of anaerobic digestion is not permitted under the EU Animal By-products Regulation 1774/2002. This is because of the animal and public health risk associated with such means of disposal.

I thank the Minister for that reply. Last July, the Government set up an anaerobic digestion task group which, in conjunction with the Renewable Energy Association, recommended feed-in tariffs to encourage the use of anaerobic digestion for biogas electricity production. Those recommendations have been completely ignored by the Government. Instead of four bands, they have proposed two bands at a lower level. This will not provide sufficient encouragement—

Order. We must have a question, not a series of statements. One sentence and we will finish.

My question to the Minister is: how will this reduced feed-in tariff lead to the development of 1,000 anaerobic digestion plants on farms as the Government are hoping?

This is a new feed-in tariff, but capital allowances will deal with the problem that the hon. Gentleman raises. May I take this opportunity, Mr. Speaker, to announce that today our implementation plan for anaerobic digestion will be published? The plan sets out how we will work with partners in the public and private sector to accelerate the uptake of anaerobic digestion in England. This will include things such as feed-in tariffs, anaerobic digestion programmes and other such elements.