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.

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captain P Wash.

Planet Saved, Job Done.

Alex T

Well it’s a start, innit.


If it cost the taxpayer more i would also sneer but that much needed £300K can be spent elsewhere.


Yeah, there are far better ways of spending our money than on saving the planet we reside on…


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.


Erm… I suppose you also think the earth is flat and controlled by lizards?


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.

Lee Fear

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… Read more »

captain P Wash.

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…

captain P Wash.

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.

Lee Fear

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.


Levi Goldsteinberg

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


Geoffrey Roach

Good all win story, I thought.




There was plenty of BS is the RAF when I was in, back in the 80’s.

At least its being put to some use now :0)

Checked out Marham on Google Maps yesterday, first time in a while.

Half a billion. On one Station.

It shows. The southern Ops side of the station has been replaced.


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.


You clearly do not understand this subject at all.

I’m sure he understands far better than you. This will be a colossal waste of taxpayers money. The operators of the biogas plant will be paid a small fortune to produce extremely unreliable electricity that can only be considered because we have a reliable grid, (just) every single renewable source added to the grid is currently eroding the national grid’s effectiveness and reliability with absolutely no benefit in reduction of emissions whatsoever. Every single renewable project MUST have a an alternative source backing it up as it is inherently unreliable, in the UK these are normally an idling ( and… Read more »

Lee1 , we could have a dick wrestling competition over who knows what about cagw but this is not the forum for it.

who wants/needs to? utterly pointless dribble this subject any more like it we don’t need


A better headline : Base’s power grid made unreliable for political expediency.


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… Read more »

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.

captain P Wash.

Spot on mate. Now tell that to the rest of the World before It’s too late.
China and the USA included.

captain P Wash.

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… Read more »


Spot on Captain!

Do you really want to live in the 17th century because basically that is what you are advocating.


They are still here… They are the Avian Dinosaurs that we generally call Birds… (Granted we do not have T-rex anymore…)

captain P Wash.

Goodbye New York and London.

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?