Despite appearances this is a Daily Telegraph report, not an April Fool joke.
Hundreds of homes in Cumbria will be heated using cheese from next month, as a new government-backed green energy plant starts producing gas from cheddar production waste.
The anaerobic digestion plant at the Lake District Creamery in Aspatria will receive millions of pounds in subsidies for turning whey and other residues from the cheese production process into “biogas”.
Some of the gas will be used to generate electricity on-site, while the remainder will be processed and fed into the local gas grid where it will be used by homes and business for their heating and cooking.
Clearfleau, the company that built the new plant, said the total amount of gas being fed into the gas grid each year would be equivalent to the annual gas needs of 4,000 homes. About 60 per cent of that gas is expected to be taken back out of the grid for the creamery’s own use in steam-making, leaving the equivalent of 1,600 homes’ annual gas usage circulating to homes and businesses in rural Cumbria.
The project is going ahead thanks to a lucrative Government subsidy scheme which rewards homes and businesses for producing energy from renewable sources, in order to meet EU renewable energy targets and UK climate change goals.
Lake District Biogas, the developer which is funding the up-front cost of the project, is expected to receive about £2 million a year in subsidies, paid for by consumers through levies on their energy bills, for the next 20 years.
Further subsidies will be paid for the electricity produced on site, while the project will also serve to cut the costs of energy and waste disposal at the creamery, which produces thousands of tonnes of cheddar every year.
Daily Telegraph report: Gas made from cheese to heat hundreds of homes