ENERGY REGULATOR Ofgem has confirmed that Combined Heat and Power plants run on poultry litter will receive the highest possible tariff under Renewable Heat Incentive legislation.

Farmers and other businesses in the poultry sector have embraced the idea of combusting poultry litter – a combination of poultry manure and wood shavings from the poultry barns – to provide renewable heat and electricity for bird houses. Each farm using CHP biomass plants with poultry litter saves on average 90% of C02 emissions compared to using LPG to heat their barns.

Litter-fuelled CHP plants simultaneously get rid of a major waste product and provide nearly all the energy requirements of user farms, with estimates suggesting that further innovation will make these farms completely energy self-sufficient within two years.

According to CHP specialists, BHSL, the confirmation of litter's eligibility for the highest possible RHI tariff should be enough to convince wavering poultry farmers of the potential to take their energy intensive sector off the grid completely.

Managing director Declan O’Connor said: “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 forward investment in the UK poultry and renewable sectors."

Chair of the British Poultry Council, John Reed, 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.”