Industry bosses highlight renewable energy source

The bosses of two of Britain's best known companies played host to industry colleagues to highlight the potential of a renewable energy source.

The bosses of two of Britain's best known companies played host to industry colleagues to highlight the potential of a renewable energy source.

Philip Green, the chief executive of United Utilities (UU), and Mark Price, managing director of Waitrose, showed off a system called anaerobic digestion.

The method, which has been used in the water industry for decades, uses micro-organisms to break down waste and generate a biogas which can then be used as an energy source for heat, power and transport.

UU said the method had "huge" potential and cut greenhouse gas emissions by keeping organic waste out of landfill sites.

Green said: "The water industry has a wealth of experience in anaerobic digestion and we are well placed to offer leadership and help to break down technological barriers.

"Tackling climate change is an issue very close to my own heart and there is a golden opportunity here waiting to be exploited by farmers, food retailers and small rural communities."

The event involved representatives from agriculture, retail and utility companies.

Price said Waitrose was the first UK supermarket to use anaerobic digestion to turn food waste from its shops into renewable energy.

He said: "However, we have experienced first hand the urgent need for more sites capable of processing food waste to allow us to extend this technology to more of our shops.

"Anaerobic digestion also provides a great opportunity for rural areas and farming communities to become more sustainable."

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