A dedicated landfill gas group has been set up by the Renewable Energy Association (REA), in response to demand from its members.
Organisations to have participated in the formation of the group include waste firms Viridor, Biffa, Suez and Veolia, alongside energy firms including Aurora Energy, Infinis and EnerG Natural Power.
Landfill gas is generated via the breakdown of organic material in landfill sites and is captured and used for energy production
Landfill gas is produced by the breakdown of organic materials in landfill sites. In an uncontrolled state when landfill gas is allowed to escape to atmosphere, it is a serious greenhouse gas. However, when captured and used for the production of power, it is a useful and significant renewable energy source for the country.
The Landfill Gas Group has elected Ian Morrish, Viridor’s managing director of landfill energy as its chair and Chris Parry general manager of Biffa as vice-chair.
REA said the Group will focus on issues such as training; sharing ideas and best practice; ensuring that embedded generation is probably valued in the electricity market; and, receiving equitable treatment in the business rates revaluation process.
The group will seek a ‘favourable policy environment’ for landfill gas deployment, it has said.
Ian Morrish of Viridor said: “I welcome the opportunity to lead a group with such a vast amount of knowledge and experience. We want to keep the landfill gas power generation industry at the forefront of the renewables agenda with regulators, legislators and policy makers alike.
“With the support of the Renewable Energy Association I see great potential to drive efficiencies from a declining fuel and to diversify our assets and people to keep our industry progressing.”
Nina Skorupska, chief executive of the REA, said: “12 years ago, when the REA was formed, landfill gas was the single largest renewable generating technology. As renewable generation has grown, particularly in wind and solar, it’s relative contribution has declined, but it remains an important baseload resource which also has scope for flexible operation. We look forward to serving this important group of our membership.”
“We want to keep the landfill gas power generation industry at the forefront of the renewables agenda with regulators, legislators and policy makers alike.”
REA Landfill Gas Group chair
REA – which lobbies on behalf of the renewables sector – has claimed that despite landfill gas being a “declining renewable resource”, it still generates enough electricity to meet the annual needs of over 1 million households.
According to REA Landfill gas utilisation took off in the early 1990s and was the fastest growing renewable energy technology at the time. The government’s early renewable energy policy focused the waste management industry’s attention on collecting and using gas from landfill sites, REA said.
However, improvements in national food and organic waste recycling rates since the 1990s has meant less organic matter has been landfilled and the gas yield is slowly declining, the organisation claims.