REA Biogas Achievements

The primary objective of REA Biogas is to help the development of the biogas industry by overcoming barriers to its development. We are very proud to list some of these achievements and to acknowledge the work of our own members and other organisations who have worked tirelessly for the good of the industry over several years.

REA Biogas objectives and achievements:




Raise awareness of AD in Whitehall & Westminster  2004 - 2007

REA led REA Biogas & met high level Defra, EA, DTI officials, lobbied Government Ministers to raise awareness of benefits of Biogas and need for incentives

Ministerial support.
Dedicated Defra AD Team.  Participation in Methane to Markets group.  Defra sponsored conferences, high level biogas meetings, Defra Implementation Plan in 2009, leading to AD Action Plan in 2010

Inform and engage Ministers, MPs and Lords

Use of internal messaging in Parliament. Early Day motions, Green Gas Reception at House of Lords, RHI promotion outside Parliament

Upwards of 50 MPs came to both events, giving momentum to RHI at the critical point before the CSR in October 2010




Increase the remuneration available under Renewables Obligation for all technologies making insufficient progress.

REA paper of December 2005 was the precursor to DTI’s banding consultation.
REA Biogas gave input into the economic studies commissioned by BERR (now DECC) to inform its thinking on banding levels.

AD now earn 2 ROCs per MWh from April 2009.
A late victory was to ensure this was the case for biogas co-fired with natural gas, as well as that used in dedicated plant.
The banding of the RO has resulted in a dramatic increase in AD project development activity.

Create incentives for renewable heat

REA led a consortium sustained over several months to create renewable energy tariffs (RETs)

Government took powers to implement the RET in the Energy Act 2008.  RHI given green light in CSR. REA RHI group currently engaging with government to set tariffs

Gain financial reward for biomethane injection  into the gas network

See above. Achieved additional clause in Energy Act under RE Heat incentive establishing principle of payments for Biomethane to gas grid

Consultation is now out with REA BtG group in consultation with government

Introduction of electrical Feed in Tariiffs

See above.

REA now working to increase the tariff levels for on farm biogas plants

Achieve greater use of Biomethane as a Transport fuel

REA formed the Biomethane for Transport Working Group in 2010

Biogas Included in RTFO – April 2008.   The first certificate has now been awarded.  Ongoing engagement with DfT

Ensure Glycerol remains as an eligible feedstock qualifying for ROCs under the Renewables Obligation

REA wrote a technical paper for Ofgem putting the argument for allowing Glycerol

Ofgem was persuaded to allow Glycerol having formally excluded it. Quality Protocol now being prepared and now engaging with Ofgem concerning percentages of energy derived from glycerol

Environment Agency consider glycerol as a waste

Engage with Environment Agency

Quality Protocol being developed to take glycerol into “end of Waste” category depending on elimination of contaminants




Introduce a Digestate Standard for Scotland

REA Team raised funding from Scottish Enterprise and SEPA to produce a Standard for Scotland.

This standard was accepted by SEPA in 2006 and formed basis of subsequent work for a UK version – see PAS 110 below.

Digestate Standard for UK PAS110

REA team took the Scottish Standard to WRAP, who used it as the foundation for the PAS110.  REA Biogas gave industry input into process.

PAS110 is now complete.
REAL (part of REA) has been appointed by EA to run the Biofertiliser Certification Scheme for the standard. See website

Achieve a Digestate Quality Protocol

REA team put forward a technical paper to EA for case for QP for Digestate to EA Protocols Team and lobbied Government and Environment Agency Board Members

Digestate moved from 23rd in the ‘queue’ for QPs to No 1, which speeded up the process by several years. The QP is now complete and forms the specification for digestate alongside the PAS110.




Simplification of the Environmental Permitting regime for small AD plants

Responded to Environment Agency consultations with a technical report written by a REA Biogas sub committee

Simple Exemption for small farm plants is now in operation

Achieve a standard Environmental Permitting regime for large and on-farm AD plants

Formed a sub group to shape the new Environmental permitting regime.

New EPs came onto force in 2010.  More work still required to adapt regulations to practical applications especially on farms

Change Environment Agency ruling that Digested Slurry is classified as waste.  This is a barrier to small farm AD

REA Biogas put forward a report to EA and held meetings to put the case for digested slurry to be a non-waste (co-operated with CLA and NFU)

December 2008, won the argument, and EA agreed to the change

Raise AD up waste hierarchy
in relation to compost

. Meetings and lobbying of
government, with objective
of recognising AD in National

In progress as part of AD Action Plan

Facilitate the Local Authority
planning process

Ensure proper coverage in National Planning Statement for renewables and encourage Local Authorities to use this guidance.

In progress as part of AD Action Plan

Health and Safety

Engaged with HSE at highest

In progress as part of AD Action Plan

Education and training

Initiated idea for industry wide Defra facilitated training event at Oxford

In progress as part of AD Action Plan

Grandfathering and “grace period”

REA identified that grandfathering was not  in force for 2 ROCs and that a Grace Period for developer was not in force.  Lobbied government which set up a working group

Grandfathering was re-instated and negotiations current concerning the Grace Period