RAF Marham in Norfolk is set to become the first British military base to run almost entirely on green energy after the Ministry of Defence finalised a power purchase deal with a nearby biogas plant.

Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood made the announcement today at the plant’s opening. The facility, built by Future Biogas, will use fermented locally grown crops to produce 4.5 MVA of power every day, enough for 350,000 LED bulbs.

It is estimated the agreement will help cut the Ministry of Defence’s emissions by 14,000 tonnes per year, save around £300,000 per year.

The plant will also help boost power resilience at RAF Marham by providing “multiple pathways to electricity”.

The venture between RAF Marham and Future Biogas has been in development since 2015, with energy firm EDF helping to broker the deal in collaboration with Crown Commercial Services, the government’s procurement agency, and the MoD’s Defence Infrastructure Organisation.

“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”

Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood

The fermented crops produce gas which is then collected and used to power multiple generators. The waste residue from this process can be dried and used as fertiliser to help grow local crops.It is expected to reduce the MoD’s carbon emissions by 14,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.

The MoD is aiming for more bases to use green energy over the coming years. Tobias Ellwood said he hopes RAF Marham “can act as a model and we can see more sustainable energy schemes rolled out across other military bases”.


Marham is home to home to the RAF’s F-35B fleet, as well as the soon to be retired Tornado GR4. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson recently opened a brand-new maintenance hangar at RAF Marham. Along with resurfaced runways and new landing pads to accommodate the F-35B’s ability to land vertically, this is part of over £550m being invested in the base.

66 COMMENTS

        • Considering the planet does not need to be saved the money would have been better spent playing slot machines as they have a better return on investment. Hell the money would have been better spent on booze and prostitutes because that would have at least helped morale.

          • No. I just don’t have enough hubris to believe I or anyone can change the weather or halt the extinction of species that nature has ordained to die.

          • Well, you know nothing about science then and really should have paid more attention at school. It is quite obvious that we have altered the climate so if we are able alter it one way then we can obviously alter it back the other way again. You simply have to look at long term temperature records to see a clear change of course for the climate. We should actually be in a phase of cooling right now but instead the planet is warming at an alarming rate. That sudden shift also happened around the time of the industrial revolution. Not only this but we know that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and we know we are producing this gas at huge rates. We only have to look at the hole in the Ozone layer to see how we can have drastic effects on our planet. It was growing bigger and bigger and putting us at serious health risks. Scientists recognised the effect, the world stopped using CFCs and now that hole in the ozone layer is getting smaller again.

            Nature does not pre-ordain anything to die. You are thinking about religion… (Which despite what it claims, has no effect on nature). We as humans have eradicated many species, we had control over that. In some circumstances we purposefully eradicated species, in others we accidentally eradicated species. We are now seemingly doing our best to eradicate our own species…

        • Lee1, Like Educating the Chinese to stop Building so many Coal fired Power Stations ? or Helping Brazil to re plant the Rain Forests ?

          Still I guess, Every little helps. We should all be pleased at doing our bit.

          • Exactly. We also do not need to educate the Chinese, they are doing better than most of the world in many areas.

            But yes we are doing our bit (not enough by a very long way) but at least we are doing something…

          • Lee1, There are 7 billion “We’s” not just the 62 million of us in the UK. As long as “We” all contribute then “We” should be able to start undoing the harm that “We” are inflicting on our Planet. I’d just like to see more effort from the other 6,999,999,938 “We’s”, starting with China. That’s all.

            Not knocking the MOD here but I’d like to see them encourage Us to “Go Green” by way of Leadership and Incentives, like reducing Solar Tarriffs again.

          • Absolutely. The government are certainly not leading the way. Barely any of them have electric vehicles and they seem intent on reducing incentives rather than increasing them.

            China is indeed large but it is also doing a lot with renewables. When you look at it compared to the US then at least it recognises the threat and is attempting to do something. Unlike Trump who seems intent on denying the existence of climate change.

  1. Saves money, reduces reliance on other countries for fuel imports and is better for the environment. A rare MoD win

  2. Here’s a prediction for you. The new plant will not stop as much as one kg of CO2 from entering the atmosphere, once transport etc is taken into account. It will also not save one penny off the MOD’s electricity bill. I will not make the base’s energy supply more resilient. For certain, it will make no difference to the world being ‘saved’. OK, that’s four predictions but you get the drift.

    • How is it unreliable? It will still be connected to the main grid and may even sell extra power back to the grid. If for some reason the power station failed then it would automatically switch to pulling from the grid. On the other hand if the local grid went down then it would not make any difference to the base and the base may even help keep the local grid balanced…

    • Let’s see, in this case crop failure due to any number of factors. The “it can still get power from the local grid”, so what you are saying it is still not a “green” base it is still leeching. “It may sell excess electricity”, nothing using green energy has ever been able to produce enough power to export excess energy. Unless it runs off oil, natural gas, coal, or nuclear energy it is both unreliable and impractical.
      Also do not even try to say I don’t know anything about the subject. My State has been more involved in energy production in all forms than any other equivalently sized area on Earth. It is one of the many areas people in my family have always worked in.

      • I wouldn’t bother Lee 1. The dinosaur attitudes of some will lead, ultimately, to their own demise and sadly, ours too. Ah well, as Trump might say, head up arse and carry on regardless.

        • Oh and, Dinosaurs always get Bad Press when it comes to Humans, Just for the record, Dinosaurs were around for Millions and Millions of years, they were Intelligent enough to not burn Fossil Fuels, create Plastics, Nuclear Power/Weapons, The EU, The iPhone, Politics, Religion, Industry or Global warming. We on the other hand have been here for a few Thousand years and have managed to undo pretty much all of their hard work. Lay off the Dinosaurs, If It wasn’t for some great big Rock from TH’S Planet ! They would probably still be here and We would still be wallowing in some bubbling Mud Pit. Just saying.

  3. I work in the Power Distribution / Generation Industry and reading all the comments, mostly negative, some positive, I offer an insiders point of view.

    1. Compared to Burning coal, way better CO2. Compared to a wind turbine/ hydro/ nuclear. Way worse.
    2. If the Power plant is connected to the grid, not sure where the £300,000 electricity bill savings come from. Could probably of achieved that by swapping supplier and paying by direct debit. try uSWITCH.
    3. If it isn’t connected to the grid and feeds from the generating station direct to site, then hell yes easily make savings, nearly 20% of everyone’s bill is government tax to fund the green stuff! Miss the grid, miss another 25% grid company charges.
    4. Anything that reduces co2 has to be a good thing. No point having an airforce if we are all dead as the planet is dead.
    5 Why would it be unreliable? Proven Technology. Crop failure?? Seriously?? We had the hottest driest summer in a gazillion years, the crops still grew.

    So all the anti green nay sayers ( no names mentioned) wake up and smell the coffee, time is running out to change our ways and as Cap Walsh said, if all of us on this planet, did a little, instead of whining about every little thing, then we could easily stop climate change.

    Rant over, wait for abuse.

      • Thing is though, I’m all for Saving the Planet but I also see just how much Ignorance there Is as to who the main Polluters are, Monsieur Macron pushed a little bit too hard a while back and Lessons need to be learnt by that mistake. If everyone wants to do their bit then now’s the time to do it as Science has shown more than enough Evidence to confirm what Is happening. Any way, Must stick a load more Coal on the Fire as It’s bleddy Cold down here in Cider Country, anyone would think we’re in an Ice Age.

        • Worst offenders by Capita

          US
          Aussies ( all that hot air about pommes)
          Canada
          Netherlands, really?
          Japan
          Germany
          China
          UK
          Spain
          France

          So we in the UK are pretty bad, but hopefully heading downwards as opposed to upwards

          US, Aussies & Canada are 3 x worse than most European countries.

          • @andy reeves.

            Exactly the sort of selfish idiotic attitude that has got us to this point in the first place. The sooner you decide to care about where you live and care about the rest of the people that have to live on this planet with idiots like you the better. You might not care right now, but our future generations certainly will. Given that our purpose in life is to make sure our future generations prevail, your attitude is ludicrous. No one it telling you to give up everything you know and go and live naked in a forest. Just do things that have less impact on climate change and pollution. It is pretty damned easy to make a big difference to your impact. Although I guess we should limit your oxygen ration as you are clearly a waste of precious resources.

      • You know…it’s that thing about belief. The world is only 6,000 years old…it’s a fact. In the US they have a museum that shows humans and dinosaurs interacting. It must therefore be true. Climate change isn’t happening…it’s all a figment of anti-capitalist propaganda…. especially if you come from an oil-producing state.

    • “Time is running out to save the the planet.” -It was -40°F in Chicago for a week and a half straight. Where is this “global warming” because the people who had to where a balaclava just to breathe outside without dying were certainly wondering where the “warming” was.
      “Crop failure? Seriously?” Yes seriously. Thank you for proving that you have never worked on nor lived near a farm.
      “Science has shown more than enough evidence of to confirm it is happening.” No they have not, according to them we all should have died first in 2005, 2010, and then 2015, now it’s 2020 and 2025. Note how the date changes as soon as the grant money would have dried up for lack of results.
      Also really bringing up the wackos at the Creationist museum? In addition my State and the companies that reside there and the universities that the the State and the companies fund are involved in far more than oil. They are involved in oil, lignite, wind, nuclear, solar, hydroelectric, experiments in tidally generated power, biofuel, geothermal research. There is literally no kind of energy production or research is not involved in.
      Considering the end goal of climate change propaganda is to make current economic life impossible and further to use their term “global governance” (imposition of a globalist totalitarian state by another name) then yes all it amounts to is anti-capitalist propaganda.
      “Tell it to China and the USA”. Comparing emissions per capita of people in the US to the clouds of poisoned air in China and India is inherently ignorant.
      “Macron pushed a little to hard a little while back.” If he had tried that in the US the yellow vest protests would have looked like old women’s sewing circle by comparison.

      • Ok Elliott, so you are in the small minority ( Inc one D Trump ) that don’t believe in Climate change fair enough, its a free country.

        Fortunately most of the people of your country, and the rest of the world, can see the damage the US is doing and are trying to do something about it.

        And as for working on a farm, not a lot not, must admit, but I was referring to the UK, not the US. We had a very hot long dry summer, by UK standards, but still the crops grew, we have irrigation systems here.

        Kind of ironic that you have crop failures in US but you don’t believe in Climate Change.

        Anyway you live in a free country. Keep Polluting dude, future generations will thank you for it I’m sure.

        • ”Keep polluting dude, future generations will thank you for it I’m sure.” – Did I say that I was pro pollution? No I did not. There is a difference between going on a crusade to make economic life impossible for the country and reasonable regulations keeping poison out of the air and water. I have seen emissions go down since the 60s and 70s despite there being more cars and more people. The reasons those changes worked is they were incremental and there was consensus. The economy was given time to recover from each change, their was a safety against mass layoffs. People were protected from being punished for being to poor to replace their car to comply with reactionary legislation.
          The current agenda put forth by greens would completely destroy the economies of every western country. While placing a disproportionate share of the burden on the poor and working classes. So people at the top could feel good about themselves and their “commitment” to “saving the planet”.
          The polling data is clear the majority of Americans do not care about “saving the planet”. Less than 20% are willing to give 10$. Do not take the words of Representatives from shall we say “special” districts like Alexandria Occasional Cortex.
          On a side note about crop failures you mentioned in the US. All of them were anticipated. We just have a much lager country and more climate zones than you. All with cyclical weather patterns. People who lost their shirt farming would have done well to buy a farmers almanac and talk to the old timer down the road about what he thought the season would bring.

          • Wow really rattled your cage didn’t I.

            You don’t believe in climate change. Got it!

            You’ re so wrong and blind to the overwhelming evidence, but hey its your choice. Got It!

            Hope your grand children don’t suffer for your sins.

            Oh and read peoples posts properly, I didn’t refer to any crop failure, totally the opposite,

          • any nation that elect crazies like trump and washed out cowboys to lead their nation deserves whatever comes from it people(?) like ‘wiggy’s can put their heads in the sand and apologise(i think not,)when the planets gone completely pants.

        • The climate has never been stable. The hottest temperatures in North America in the past century were in the 1930s. I myself remember many days of +100 degrees F, +39 degrees C, in the 1980s. The question is why is this round of climate change special? Because its happening to us? We will have to adapt like every generation had had to do. The Dutch are busy increasing the height of their seawalls. Other countries should adapt also.
          PS Crop failures have existed for thousand of years.

          • You really need to understand the difference between climate change (ie the average temperature of the whole planet) vs weather (localised temperature differences due to various factors). Now weather is linked to climate change so we will likely see all sorts of changes in the overall weather patterns (we are already seeing these changes), but that does not mean that we will not see extreme cold or extreme heat in local areas. In fact it is highly likely that we will see more snow in some places as a the warmer the air is the more water it holds. You are correct in stating that the climate has never been stable. However I think you are using that as a mask rather than looking into the actual facts. Yes the climate of earth has constantly fluctuated. However those fluctuations have been over many thousands of years and have been by reasonably small temp changes. For instance 20,000 years ago the climate was 4 degrees centigrade cooler than it was in 1960. 13,000 years later the climate was about 0.5 degrees hotter than it was in 1960. Then the climate started to go into a cooling period again and dropped to about 0.5 degrees below the 1960 temp. Then suddenly in the 1900s the temperature took a sudden change of direction and increased by about 1 degree in the tiny time of less than 100 years. On the current trajectory it will have increased by a further 3-3.5 degrees in the next 80 years! So just to summarise. The climate is will have heated up the same amount in less than 200 years as it previously took 13,000 years to do. Also this is happening in what ought to be a cooling period. Not only that but it looks like the climate models have been quite optimistic and it now looks like the oceans will not absorb as much heat as we previously thought. So the climate is possibly going to heat up even quicker! Stop using confirmation bias (that should be left to conspiracy nuts and religious crazies only) and learn proper science.

      • Oh Elliott, You crack me up mate, You really do. ( Slaps head, says Doh at same time ). As Forest Gump’s mother once said “Stupid Is What Stupid Does”. Pass the Coffee Cream mate, will ya ? (oh and, go take a look at Spain’s Water Shortages, Australia’s Record Temperatures and California’s House Rebuilding Program, not to mention Greenland’s new Ice Free Areas, Krill moving ever closer to Antarctica and China’s latest attempts to grow food on the Frigging Dark side of the Moon ).
        Apart from all that and Sooooooooo much more, I Agree with you.

      • You do understand the difference between global climate and local weather? I mean you can not seriously be dumb enough to think that low temps in one place on earth for a short period means that the earth is not warming? Even my 5 year old understands this basic science!

  4. Should we really be using land to make fuel for electricity? Shouldn’t we be using the sea and the air for that, and using the land for food?

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