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It’s My Birthday – And I’ll Cheer If I Want To

Celebrating the 9th anniversary of operating Bore Hill Farm biodigester

May 2021. I’m so pleased to see Malaby Biogas’s Bore Hill Farm Biodigester celebrate its 9th anniversary of operations this month. Although we started operations in May 2012 there were at least 3 or 4 years of planning beforehand. I remember July 2010 at the first AD industry conference organised by ADBA saying to Lord Redesdale the Chairman that we had received our planning permission. “Congratulations – you’re a third of the way there!” I was told. Little did I know how true that was. Less than 2 years later we started seeding the plant and now, 9 years on, we are pushing the boundaries of the clever stuff. Supporting R&D: soluble plastic bags (Aquapak) low carbon insect proteins (Inspro), mobile digestate concentration (Nomad). Exploring new horizons like renewable transport fuels (power & gas), national and global carbon accounting (data driven LCA models), cross collaboration with other bio-based industries (biomass power, gasification and the long-awaited green hydrogen promise). Etc etc.

Without the first spade in the ground or the first late night call out none of this would be possible. All thanks go to our dedicated ops and management team. Day to day ops are often overlooked in the bigger picture but making plants work and building strong evidence is critical. Bore Hill’s food waste AD facility has grown in capacity, efficiency and expertise over the years and now provides around 2,500 houses with renewable power and hosting a wide range of visitors from schools to politicians, industry training group to local third sector interest groups. We are making Warminster a very green town. We continue to innovate and push the boundaries of what is possible; supporting R&D projects, implementing optimisation projects and promoting the professionalisation and knowledge base of the industry. Thank you to the hard work and dedication of site staff and the support of large numbers of friends and colleagues. We are the Neil Armstrong of Climate Action!

Seriously though… Making and using biogas really is the catalyst for many wider decarbonisation strategies – greener farming, greener energies, improved use of bioresources, renewable transport fuels, transition to a low carbon and, one day (?!), hydrogen economy. Telling the message is part of the challenge and getting people to understand and support the delivery is another.

We continue to press for wider policy recognition of the benefits our industry offers to society and the wider climate action. And we passionately believe that the wider bioeconomy can deliver significant change and leadership now to achieve Net Zero by 2050. The alternative is bleak and we need to convince the powers that be that we can change the world and we can do it now if they would only allow and support us. I do wonder why everyone I speak to says “….what a great idea! How come I haven’t heard of this before?”. How many of the people you know (probably non-professional contacts), know about COP26? How many people organising COP26 know about AD and biogas? My answer: Not enough!

How do we change this reality? Clearer, louder, consistent and engaging messaging.

More comms and more talks. More and more and more. And now and now and now. That is my birthday message to the world.

Rant over and time to eat the birthday cake!

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