Norfolk

RAF Marham set to be powered by biogas

Tobias Ellwood (left) Image copyright Ministry of Defence
Image caption Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood officially opens the Future Biogas facility in Swaffham, Norfolk

A military airbase is set to be powered by green energy, saving the Ministry of Defence £300,000 a year.

RAF Marham, in Norfolk, will get 95% of its electricity from biogas generated by fermenting crops grown locally.

Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood made the announcement as he opened the Future Biogas facility in Swaffham, which will provide the energy.

Mr Ellwood said the move would "lead the way" in tackling climate change.

RAF Marham is home to the UK's F-35 combat jets.

The crops produce the gas during a process known as anaerobic digestion. It is then collected and used to power generators - a move the MoD hopes will cut its carbon emissions by 14,000 tonnes a year.

Any waste residue can be dried and used as fertiliser.

Image caption RAF Marham will be the first UK military airbase to be powered by green energy

The pioneering project has been delivered by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) along with government and private sector firms, who first starting working on the idea in 2015.

Mr Ellwood said: "RAF Marham is leading the way as Britain's first green military airbase.

"The biogas fuel is a truly green and sustainable solution, helping us tackle climate change, support the local economy and save taxpayer money."

Philipp Lukas, managing director of Future Biogas, said it was "fantastic" to see the airbase join "the green revolution".

"If we are to combat the imminent global threat of climate change, everyone, from all walks of life, needs to transition to renewable, sustainable energy as quickly as possible," he said.

Image caption F-35 fighter jets arrived at RAF Marham in June 2018

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