Green Revolution: RAF Marham Switches To Renewable Power

An F-35 fighter jet flies over RAF Marham. 

RAF Marham has become the military’s first green base, having switched its electricity supply to one powered by locally grown and fermented crops.

The electricity will be generated at a new biogas plant, based in the nearby village of Swaffham. It uses a process called Anaerobic Digestion in which gas is produced and then collected.

All this then powers multiple generators and combined they produce 4.5 MVA of electricity every day – enough to power 350,000 LED bulbs.

A sign welcomes visitors to RAF Marham (Picture: PA).

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) estimates the new system will produce 95% of Marham’s electricity and reduce their carbon footprint by 14,000 tonnes a year.

The base’s electricity bill is also expected to drop by £300,000 annually.

Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood, who officially opened the biogas plant at Swaffham, 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. 

“I hope that this plant can act as a model and we can see more sustainable energy schemes rolled out across other military bases.”

The Managing Director of Future Biogas, the company that built the plant, praised the Armed Forces for switching to renewable power: “It’s fantastic to see the UK military 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.

“The AD plant in Swaffham now powers a significant local institution. In doing so, it not only helps secure the energy supply of a strategic national asset, but also takes the pressure off the local electrical infrastructure, which has been really struggling to keep up with growing regional demand.

RAF Marham Goes Green BFBS
The MOD hopes more bases will follow suit.

“The huge success of this project leads us to hope the door will now open to more of a similar nature.

"Renewable energy projects that support the local circular economy have to become commonplace if we are to continue to see clean growth in the UK.”

Marham is home to Britain’s fleet of F-35 fighter jets and the MOD described the base as a leader in both “aviation and environmental technology”.