AD Income and Costs

The largest revenue streams from anaerobic digestion under current support are likely to be from electricity and fertiliser production (including avoided costs).

Generally, budgets for electricity production assume that a gas engine might be available for roughly 8,000 hours per year, allowing for stoppages, repairs and maintenance etc.

Income streams are likely to include:
electricity sales (or displaced purchases);
Renewables Obligation Certificates or Feed-in Tariffs;
heat sales, plus Renewable Heat Incentive (or displaced purchases);
digestate sales (or displaced fertiliser costs);
fibre sales if the digestate is separated (or displaced fertiliser costs);
gate fees: charges made for processing wastes (this mainly applies to larger projects using food processing wastes; gate fees are increasing as charges for alternative waste management methods, such as landfill taxes, also increase);
savings on slurry handling and other waste management costs.

Running costs
The running costs for an Anaerobic Digester vary enormously depending on design and operating circumstances. However, consultants with experience suggest an allowance of 20 percent of income should be sufficient to cover repairs and maintenance.

Running costs over and above repairs and maintenance will include:

Staff costs: management of an on-farm digester with power generating equipment is likely to require a total of two days per week. This involves a couple of hours every day and longer when something needs fixing.
Transport costs
Annual fees for licences and pollution control measures.

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