Food scraps and farm waste to be chewed up to create energy - Times Online
Lewis Smith, Environment Reporter
Plans to build more than 1,000 anaerobic digesters to turn unwanted food and farm waste into energy and fertiliser will be unveiled today.
Lewis Smith covered the same story back in August 2008 to which EU Referendum
set out a dire tale about how private enterprises had embraced anaerobic digesters as an admirable solution to organic waste disposal, only to have the economics of their systems wrecked by the dead hand of the Environment Agency.
The EA insisted on classifying these systems as "scheduled processes" – under an EU directive – and then charging exorbitant "authorisation" and "subsistence" fees which, with the stultifying and time-consuming bureaucracy involved, ensured that few digesters were installed. Those that were quickly became disused simply because, under the burden of regulation, they were too expensive to operate.
So, now that the government has effectively priced the system out of the market, it is offering public money – our money – to encourage the use of a well-tried and working technology that it, itself, has hamstrung.
Had Smith known anything of the subject – and the background to it – he could have written a really interesting and critical piece. As it is, we are condemned to the usual ration of extruded verbal material which has become the only fare available. Thus, as we keep saying, are we served by the fourth estate.