Analyzing UK’s Biogas from Waste Scheme Through the Lens of Circular Economy

  •  Abhijeet Acharya    


The biogas from waste has emerged as a realistic and reliable renewable energy proposition and can deliver social-economic benefits when integrated with local communities. In the last decade, the biogas sector in European countries has seen unprecedented growth due to favorable policy supports and perceived social-economic benefits. Among different biogas producing schemes, waste to biogas using anaerobic digestion is considered most environment friendly due to minimum carbon leakage and positive waste resource recycling impact. Many countries, including the UK, envision creating a circular economy utilizing Biogas from Waste (BfW) recycling potential. This paper aims to analyze the state of the UK’s BfW scheme through the lens of circular economy and discern areas that need attention to usher BfW potential in supporting a circular economy. The paper also discussed key challenges and barriers to create a local circular economy using the BfW scheme. Based on the analysis, it is observed that the BfW scheme in the UK is currently impeded due to lack cross-sectoral policy coherence, and far from contributing to a circular economy. Additionally, the UK's waste to energy concept is concentrated around incinerator-based systems without much attention on improving resource efficiency and waste recycling. This paper makes three recommendations to improve prospects of the BfW scheme in the UK (1) decentralized approach in the BfW scheme development, (2) considering bio-waste and digestate as value streams, and (3) creating a policy cohesiveness across multiple departments.

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