The UK’s Green Investment Bank has announced a £6.5 million funding for two anaerobic digestion plants in Northern Ireland to help farmers get clean energy from organic waste and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
The two facilities will be located in Cookstown, County Tyrone, and Banbridge, County Down, and will help local farmers generate clean electricity that they can use on site or sell to national grid.
Shaun Kingsbury, chief executive of the Green Investment Bank (GIB), commented, “Today’s announcement is a textbook example of the types of project we should be seeing all across the UK. It’s economically important, injecting £6.5m into the rural economy in Northern Ireland and generating 22 new jobs. It’s green, turning farm waste into renewable energy and fertiliser. And it’s good for the local farming community, earning and saving them money.”
“Northern Ireland has taken a real lead in this fast-emerging technology, so we were delighted to help get these new projects moving and stand ready to back other community-based, green projects like them across the UK,” he added.
Anaerobic digestion is a natural process in which microorganisms break down biodegradable organic material and turn it into gas, which is then turned into electricity. Farmers can then use leftovers of the process as fertiliser.
The GIB recently announced the involvement in another £15m anaerobic digestion and composting plant in Enfield, in London.
Resources management minister, Dan Rogerson said, “Anaerobic digestion is the unsung hero of the renewables industry; it diverts waste from landfill and generates clean, renewable energy. Given the technology’s flexibility it’s also a great way for farmers to secure additional income from manures and slurries alongside food waste.”
Photo: Chiot’s Run via Flickr