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Initiative to help poultry farms become self-sustainable
Published:  17 May, 2017

Energy regulator Ofgem has said that combined heat and power plants that run on poultry litter will benefit from the optimum tariff under Renewable Heat Incentive legislation. 

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Stategy (BEIS) and the Department for the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (Defra) confirmed that poultry litter uniquely sustainable in Combined Heat & Power (CHP) plants is “eligible for the highest solid biomass CHP tariff”.

Poultry litter is produced from a combination of poultry manure and wood shavings from poultry barns. The litter is used to provide renewable heat and electricity for barns housing poultry, leading to a self-powering clean system for the industry. Poultry litter in these plants provides nearly all of the energy requirements for poultry farms. Estimates show that there is the potential for these farms to become self-sufficient within two years.

Now that the tariff has been confirmed, poultry farmers are able to benefit from investing in CHP, with the possibility that the energy intensive sector be taken off the grid.

It is believed that farms that use CHP biomass biomass plants with poultry litter save on average 90% of C02 emissions to heat their barns. Other benefits include reduced acidification and eutrophication and reducing the spread of ammonia emissions.

“I am delighted that ministers Jesse Norman [Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at BEIS] and George Eustice [Minister of State for Defra] have come together to reaffirm the government’s commitment to the poultry industry,” said Declan O’Connor, managing director of BHSL, a business that works with the industry and UK government on the solid biomass CHP tariff classification.

“The Renewable Heat Incentive is one of the most ambitious green tariff schemes in the world with strict environmental criteria which is clearly being upheld. This government’s support for uniquely sustainable poultry litter reaffirms their high regard for the environment and will drive froward investment in the UK poultry and renewable sectors.”

John Reed, chair of the British Poultry Council and agricultural director of Cargill’s European poultry business added: “The government deserves a lot of praise for helping to secure the future of sustainable poultry farming in the UK. This innovative technology is already showing huge improvements to bird animal welfare standards and end-to-end sustainability of our British farms. The industry looks forward to continuing to work with ministers on the exciting progress of these renewable plants in the UK.”