Leading Welsh renewable energy company, Eco2 has confirmed its ambition to add anaerobic digestion (AD) to its wide-ranging development and asset management portfolio with the appointment of Robert Richards as Biomass Portfolio Manager focusing on AD.
Robert began his career at British Sugar, where he worked in refinery management and, later, agricultural operations management. He joined Eco2’s Management Services division in 2016 as part of the fuel procurement team, which manages over 1.5m tonnes of straw and woodchip using Eco2’s own bespoke software that tracks the flow of fuel from field to plant. As a Senior Fuel Manager, Robert was personally responsible for the procurement of 250,000 tonnes of straw and wood per year at the 44.2MW Snetterton Biomass Plant in Norfolk.
In his new role as Biomass Portfolio Manager, Robert’s primary focus will be on acquiring new business in the AD sector, with the aim of expanding Eco2’s development and commercial and technical asset management offer, which already includes wood and straw-fired biomass, renewable heat projects, landfill gas and onshore wind.
Drawing on its considerable experience in development and management services, Eco2 is looking towards developing new AD plants, as well as overseeing the management, feedstock sourcing, and digestate offtake for existing plants. Eco2 will also be able to use its management expertise to advise on methods to improve the financial performance of existing plants, such as through process improvement methodologies, additional revenue streams and technology upgrades.
Eco2’s announcement comes at a crucial time for the AD sector, given the Government’s recent commitment to net zero and Philip Hammond’s pledge earlier in the year to boost levels of green gas in the grid.
Green gas produced through AD not only produces much lower levels of emissions than natural gas but is also home-grown, allowing the UK to increase its energy security and rely less on energy imports.
Biomass Portfolio Manager at Eco2, Robert Richards said: “I am very excited to embark on this new position focusing on the expansion of Eco2’s credentials to include anaerobic digestion. There is no doubt that Eco2 has significant and wide-ranging expertise that can bring real value to the AD sector, which is a key piece of the puzzle towards the UK achieving its climate change goals.”
Managing Director at Eco2, Darren Williams said: “We have been very impressed by Robert’s work managing one of Eco2’s largest biomass projects and we are pleased to appoint him in this new role, demonstrating clearly our commitment to expanding our portfolio to include AD.
“Our view is that AD projects can collectively be part of a thriving industry if developed and managed in a way that is socially responsible, sustainable, forward-thinking and efficient. With Robert’s help, we want to use the expertise that we have built developing and managing renewable energy assets over the last 17 years to do just that.”
Founded in 2002, Eco2 has been at the forefront of renewable energy development across the UK and Europe with further international expansion on the horizon.
With offices in Cardiff, Manchester and Spain, we have built an impressive portfolio of Biomass, Wind, Heat Pump and Landfill Gas installations. Our unique experience in developing and operating projects sets us apart in the renewables sector in which we are industry leaders.
We pride ourselves as being renewable energy innovators which drives us to continue moving the industry forward by investing in emerging technologies.
- 14 Projects since 2002
- Over 280MW of installed power
- £2.3billion of investment raised