Dairy to shrink energy bills with anaerobic digestion investment

By Helen Glaberson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Anaerobic digestion, Waste management

A UK dairy company is to cut processing costs after investing £3.4m in an anaerobic digestion (AD) technology to turn food waste into renewable energy.

The energy will be used to power Langage farm’s clotted cream, ice cream and yoghurt production. Any extra energy will be exported to the National Grid, said Wrap, the government-funded, Waste & Resources Action Programme.

Langage Farm’s UK Plymouth facility received £1.2m of funding from the Anaerobic Digestion Demonstration Programme to help set up the AD technology.

The facility will process 12,000 tonnes collected from households across the county by local authorities.

It will also process on-farm dairy wastes, converting these into renewable heat and electricity.

Over the first five years, the Langage AD investment is expected to produce 20,000 MW of energy, saving the equivalent of 2,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum/£ on energy bills.

“Food waste that otherwise would have gone to landfill will instead be used to produce the energy that will power much of the production process here on the farm, helping to produce award winning clotted cream, ice cream and yoghurt,”​ said Lord Henley, minister for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Confidence in AD

Marcus Gover, director of Organics and Energy from Waste at Wrap said the market, investors, developers and end users, should have confidence in AD as a reliable, safe and profitable resource efficiency process.

“AD is a growing part of the resource efficiency solution, capable of diverting biodegradable waste from landfill, creating renewable energy, stimulating the green economy and improving the sustainability of commercial agriculture. We really see it as a huge opportunity for the UK.”

A spokesperson for Langage Farm said the company hoped to see an increase in the uptake of this technology in the future.

“It really makes sense to use waste as a resource in this way,”​ they added.

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