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Rich or poor? Who actually lives in proximity to AD plants in Wales?

Martinat, Stanislav, Cowell, Richard and Navrátilc, Josef 2020. Rich or poor? Who actually lives in proximity to AD plants in Wales? Biomass and Bioenergy 143 , 105799. 10.1016/j.biombioe.2020.105799

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Abstract

Many environmental benefits have been claimed for anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities, embracing waste management and multiple energy vectors (generating electricity, heat and useable gas) that could be help create more circular economies. Whether these benefits are realised depends greatly on the sites exploited for AD plants and the social and geographical conditions. To examine this we assess the distribution of AD plants in Wales and the socio-demographic characteristics of the populations that live in close proximity. The results show that farm-fed ADs are predominantly located in rural villages and sparsely-populated settings, while waste-fed AD plants could be found more evenly distributed in both rural villages, towns and cities. In addition, populations living in proximity to AD plants tend to be older, frequently in families without children, and without any central heating (or with central heating based on oil or solid fuels), in neighbourhoods experiencing deprivation in access to services. Our results are significant for our understanding who could be, both positively and negatively, affected by the AD operation and how these facilities could contribute to the social development of communities. Factors affecting the realization of prospective benefits from farm-fed ADs include public sensitivities to development in these ‘rural idyll’ locations, and the economics of using AD to re-tool energy systems in more sparsely populated rural sites.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0961-9534
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 October 2020
Date of Acceptance: 27 September 2020
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2021 16:54
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/135380

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