Brussels, 7 July 2022 – Today, the Gas for Climate (GfC) consortium published an update on biomethane production potentials in EU Member States , building on the renewed ambition of the EU to accelerate biomethane production and the advancements in technology.

The study shows that enough sustainable feedstocks are available in the EU-27 to meet the REPowerEU 2030 target (35 bcm). In GfC’s estimate, up to 41 bcm of biomethane in 2030 and 151 bcm in 2050 could be available. This is significant as the current (2020) EU natural gas consumption is 400 bcm (of which 155 bcm was imported from Russia).

As such, biomethane can play an important role in meeting the EU’s 2030 GHG reduction target and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. Additionally, biomethane can increase European energy security by reducing the dependency on Russian natural gas and can alleviate part of the energy cost pressure on households and companies. To achieve this, significant scaling up is required both in the short- and long-term as today, 3 bcm of biomethane and 15 bcm of biogas are produced in the EU.

Whereas Gas for Climate previously estimated the sustainable supply potential in the EU-27 (and UK) at 35 bcm in 2030 and 95 bcm by 2050, for the recent publication, sustainable production potentials were updated to reflect the most recent developments. In the paper, a unified methodology is applied to identify both the short- and long-term potential of biomethane production in the EU, Norway, Switzerland and the UK, based on sustainable feedstocks.

Overall potentials

Enough sustainable feedstocks to produce up to biomethane 41 bcm in 2030 and 151 bcm in 2050 (EU-27).

Biomethane potential in 2030 per technology and country

Breakdown of the overall potentials

  • A potential of 38 bcm is estimated for anaerobic digestion in 2030 for EU-27 increasing to 91 bcm in 2050. The top 5 countries in both 2030 and 2050 consistently include France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain. Key sustainable feedstocks to achieve these potentials are manure, agricultural residues and sequential cropping, where the latter dominates the potential for 2050.
  • A potential of 2.9 bcm is estimated for thermal gasification in 2030 for EU-27 increasing to 60 bcm in 2050. The top 5 countries in 2030 and 2050 consistently include France, Germany, Spain, Sweden and Italy.
  • Even more biomethane potential can be unlocked by looking at additional feedstocks (e.g. biomass from marginal or contaminated land and seaweed, as noted in the REPowerEU plan), and technologies (e.g. hydrothermal gasification of wet feedstocks, including organic wastes and residues).

This is the first analysis of specific biomethane potentials per country that has applied a unified methodology at the European level. Therefore, following the renewed biomethane ambition by the EU, the 35 bcm target needs to be pro-actively translated by Member States into national targets incorporated into their National Climate and Energy Plans and appropriate measures (e.g. permitting, financing, certification, etc) enacted to scale up their sustainable domestic biomethane industries.

[due to technical maintenance of the Gas for Climate website, this study is temporarily published on the European Biomethane Association website]

Notes for editors 

Gas for Climate was initiated in 2017 to analyse and create awareness about the role of renewable and low carbon gas in the future energy system in full compliance with the Paris Agreement target to limit global temperature increase to well below 2 degrees Celsius. To this end, the entire economy has to become (net) zero carbon by mid-century.

The Gas for Climate group consists of eleven leading European gas transport companies (DESFA, Enagás, Energinet, Fluxys Belgium, Gasunie, GRTgaz, ONTRAS, OGE, Snam, Swedegas and Teréga) and three renewable gas industry associations (European Biogas Association, Consorzio Italiano Biogas, German Biogas Association).

Biomethane can play an important role in meeting the European Union (EU) 2030 GHG reduction target and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. Additionally, biomethane increases European energy security by reducing the dependency on Russian natural gas and can alleviate part of the energy cost pressure on households and companies. The European Commission fully recognises these benefits and thus set a target of 35 billion cubic meters (bcm) of annual biomethane production by 2030 in its recent REPowerEU plan.

Today, 3 bcm of biomethane and 15 bcm of biogas are produced in the EU-27. Gas for Climate previously estimated the sustainable supply potential of biomethane in the EU-27 and UK at 35 bcm in 2030 and 95 bcm by 2050. Building on the renewed ambition by the EU to accelerate biomethane production and the advancements in technology, Gas for Climate has updated the production potentials to reflect these recent developments.

In this paper, Gas for Climate applies a unified methodology to identify both the short- and long-term potential of biomethane production in each EU Member State (plus Norway, Switzerland and the UK), based on sustainable feedstocks.

The European Biogas Association (EBA) is looking for a motivated professional with 1-3 year experience in the communication field to join a growing and motivated team for a 4-year contract with possibility of extension, starting as soon as possible.

Tasks & Responsibilities

The candidate will support the communications team (3 people + candidate) in implementing EBA’s communication strategy. He/she will bring fresh ideas to the table to engage with EBA members through a variety of channels and ensure large visibility of EBA messages across Europe. The candidate will also have a strong focus on the development of communication activities within Horizon Europe projects starting this autumn, covering circular economy topics. He/she will additionally coordinate communication activities with the technical and policy teams. His/her main responsibilities will be:

  • Managing EBA internal communications with professional and creative proposals to increase membership engagement, through regular intranet updating and management, targeted mailings, dedicated events, access to exclusive information, etc).
  • Performing communication tasks for EU projects (Horizon Europe), including:
    • Development of the project visual identity and communication plan
    • Production of impactful content
    • Management of project website and social media
    • Coordination of events
    • Drafting publications
    • Monitoring and reporting on project communications.
  • Supporting the communication team on the implementation of other communication priorities.

Essential Skills & Qualities

  • Degree in Communications/Marketing Communications.
  • Excellent command of English, any other language is a definite plus.
  • Experience carrying out communication tasks in EU projects.
  • Expertise in internal communication.
  • Knowledge of CMS, marketing mailing tools and social media management platforms.
  • Hands-on experience in the organisation of events.
  • Comfortable communicating with external audiences.
  • Multitasker, quick-learner and ready to work in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to prioritise and respect deadlines.
  • Team player, proactive, self-starter.
  • The candidate will have to demonstrate that he/she has the right to live and work in Belgium.

What would be considered a plus?

  • Knowledge of circular economy topics and European institutions.
  • Previous professional record working for a membership-based association.
  • Proven record translating policy and/or technical statements into effective communication messages.
  • Experience in multimedia editing.

We provide…

  • A stimulating and dynamic international environment in a fast-growing team.
  • Hands-on experience in communication for an EU association.
  • Access to EBA’s network of EU stakeholders and members.
  • Expertise on the circular economy and the energy transition.
  • A position within the renewable energy sector to impact the shift towards a cleaner world and higher EU energy independence.
  • A platform pushing for positive socio-economic and environmental change.
  • A remuneration package suited to your experience.

How to apply?

Please send your CV (no Europass format) and cover letter (max. 2 pages) to Angela Sainz  (sainz@europeanbiogas.eu) with the subject ‘YOUR NAME – EBA Communications Officer’ by 21 July at the latest. Interviews will take place on a rolling basis. Please consider that only the selected CVs will be notified for further process and interview.

Brussels, 19 May 2022 – As part of its REPowerEU plan, the European Commission yesterday proposed a rapid acceleration of renewable energy including 35 bcm biomethane by 2030 and a new Biomethane Industrial Partnership to ‘support  the achievement of the target and create the preconditions for a further ramp up towards 2050’. The biomethane value chain welcomes the biomethane target and the public-private partnership.

We represent a wider group of 30 companies and organisations. Last December we published the Biomethane Declaration, in which we called for a scale-up of biomethane to 350 TWh, based on an earlier 2030 potential assessment by the Commission. The 35 bcm target now proposed is even slightly higher than that. We are keen to cooperate in the new Biomethane Industrial Partnership with the European Commission,  Member States, Members of the European Parliament and other relevant actors to support the scale up of biomethane to 35 bcm and its consumption across the energy system.

Harmen Dekker, CEO of European Biogas Association: ‘Today the EU shows leadership by further speeding up the energy transition, the Commission recognises that biomethane will play an important role in this. We are eager to work with the Commission and other stakeholders to create the new Alliance.’

For more information, please contact:

Harmen Dekker, European Biogas Association: dekker@europeanbiogas.eu; +31 654331782

Daan Peters, Common Futures: daan.peters@commonfutures.com; +31 634489780

Vice-President Timmermans and Commissioner Simson presenting REPowerEU detailed plan – Source: European Commission

Brussels, 19 May 2022 – The REPowerEU detailed plan presented yesterday proposes a Biomethane Action Plan, including a Biomethane Industrial Alliance, to stimulate the renewable gas value chain and achieve the production of 35 bcm of biomethane by 2030. The plan includes a targeted revision of the Fitfor55 energy efficiency and renewable targets, together with the necessary measures to accelerate RES permitting and recommendations to facilitate renewable gas injection. This is a stepping stone to the achievement of climate-targets, the circular bio-economy and security of supply across Europe.

After the communication released last March, this new package provides a set of tools to disentangle the EU from Russian fossil fuels, as well as to boost the EU Green Deal and drive investment to a more sustainable, resilient and sovereign energy mix. The plan is structured around 3 key areas of action: diversification of energy sources, acceleration of the clean energy transition and increase of energy savings. This will require a smart combination of investments and reforms starting from this year. The full value chain of biogas and biomethane producers, and users, is ready to cooperate with public authorities and civil society organisations to identify current bottlenecks and propose solutions for a sustainable scale-up. The production of biogas and biomethane has already created 210,000 green jobs in Europe and is saving every year 60 Mt of GHG emissions (CO2 equivalent).

“The industrial alliance proposed by the REPowerEU is an essential instrument to steer cooperation between policymakers, investors and the biomethane value chain to drive technological innovation, address bottlenecks, such as cross border trading, and ultimately speed up the expansion of the sector. The 37 billion euros of targeted investments proposed by the Commission can support the development of new capacity and infrastructure to accommodate biomethane into the gas grid and create energy communities.”  Explains Harmen Dekker, CEO of the EBA.

“The targeted revision of EU energy efficiency and renewable energy targets will speed up the green transition and contribute to a more resilient energy system.  Shorter and more transparent permitting  are a key conditions further development of the biogas and biomethane sector. We shall not forget about the dossiers that are being negotiated by the co-legislators: high targets should be accompanied by long-term perspective and clarity on REDIII sustainability requirements. The European Parliament and the Council have now a great opportunity to set a solid sustainability framework for biogas and biomethane encouraging the use of sustainable feedstocks and avoiding retroactive measures.”  Points out Giulia Cancian, EBA Secretary General.

More information

Contact: Angela Sainz Arnau, EBA Communications Manager sainz@europeanbiogas.eu +32 24 00 10 89

The European Biogas Association, representing nearly 8,000 stakeholders across the whole biogas value chain in Europe, has appointed Anders Mathiasson as new President of the association. He will steer the work of the EBA for the period 2022-2025, together with 8 Board Members: Piero Gattoni, Stefan Rauh, Philipp Lukas, Niels Peters, Michael Niederbacher, Erik Meers, Olivier Aubert and Gregory Krupnikovs.

EBA Board  at the General Assembly (from left to right): Michael Niederbacher, Philipp Lukas, Gregory Krupnikovs, EBA’s President Anders Mathiasson, Niels Peters, Stefan Rauh, Piero Gattoni. The new EBA Board includes as well Prof. Erik Meers and Olivier Aubert.

The EBA has grown significantly over the past years, reaching a membership growth of over 50%. Biogas and biomethane production are widely spread across the EU and the industry is now experiencing an accelerated expansion. Europe is producing today 15 bcm of biogas and 3 bcm of biomethane. The production of biogas and biomethane has already created 210,000 green jobs in Europe and is saving every year 60 Mt of GHG emissions (CO2 equivalent).

“The sector is set to play an important role in securing energy independency and climate-neutrality in Europe, enabling the transition towards renewable energy and all the benefits it can bring to local circular economies, with the relevant legislative support.” Explains EBA’s new appointed President. Just last March, the European Commission REPowerEU plan, aimed at ensuring EU energy independence while pushing for climate targets, proposed the deployment of 35 bcm of biomethane by 2030.

“Achieving the biomethane target will require significant efforts and dialogue between policymakers, investors and representatives of the biomethane value chain.” Highlights Harmen Dekker, CEO of the EBA.“Anders has been working in the energy and gas industry for over 25 years and was CEO of the Swedish Gas Association between 2004 and 2016. During those years, he has worked on improving the conditions for the use of biogas in the industry and transport sectors in Sweden. This expertise will proof highly relevant to support the development of the sector at EU level.” Explains EBA’s chief.

Now is the right time to take new steps to develop the biogas market and production in Europe and strengthen domestic renewable energy production. I am honored to represent the EBA, supported by the rest of Members of the Board, in such crucial times to ensure that ambitious goals are set and achieved.” Concludes EBA’s new President.

The EBA President and Board Members were appointed this week during the General Assembly. They will be also supported in their work by the members of the EBA Company and Scientific Advisory Councils, elected last month.

DOWNLOAD PRESS RELEASE

Looking for your next challenge? The European Biogas Association (EBA) is looking for a motivated professional with 3-5 year experience in the communication field to join a growing and motivated team on a full time basis as soon as possible.

Tasks & Responsibilities

The candidate will support the communications team (2 people + candidate) in implementing EBA’s communication strategy. He/she will bring fresh ideas to the table to engage with EBA key target audiences through a variety of channels and ensure large visibility of EBA messages through targeted campaigns and events. The candidate will also coordinate communication activities with the technical and policy teams. His/her main responsibilities will be:

  • Developing and coordinating EBA communication campaigns.
  • Producing multimedia content for EBA’s website, social media and newsletter.
  • Organising EBA impactful workshops and events in collaboration with the rest of the communications team, including the European Biogas Conference.
  • Managing EBA internal communications with professional and creative proposals to increase membership engagement (intranet, members mailings, etc).
  • Performing communication tasks for EU projects (Horizon Europe).

Essential Skills & Qualities

  • Degree in Communications/Marketing Communications.
  • Excellent command of English, any other language is a definite plus.
  • Expertise in the implementation of successful communication campaigns.
  • Experience in multimedia editing, including professional videos and podcasts.
  • Hands-on experience in the organisation of events.
  • Knowledge of CMS, desktop publishing software and marketing platforms (WordPress, InDesign, Mailchimp).
  • Comfortable communicating with external audiences.
  • Multitasker, quick-learner and ready to work in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to prioritise and respect deadlines.
  • Team player, proactive, self-starter.
  • The candidate will have to demonstrate that he/she has the right to live and work in Belgium.

What would be considered a plus?

  • Knowledge of the renewable energy sector and European institutions.
  • Previous professional record working for a membership-based association.
  • Experience carrying out communication tasks in EU projects.
  • Proven record translating policy and/or technical statements into effective communication messages.

We provide…

  • A stimulating and dynamic international environment in a fast-growing team.
  • Hands-on experience in communication for an EU association.
  • Access to EBA’s network of EU stakeholders and members.
  • Expertise on the circular economy and the energy transition.
  • A position within the renewable energy sector to impact the shift towards a cleaner world and higher EU energy independence.
  • A platform pushing for positive socio-economic and environmental change.
  • A remuneration package suited to your experience.

How to apply?

Please send your CV (no Europass format) and cover letter (max. 2 pages) to Vinciane Perot (perot@europeanbiogas.eu) with the subject ‘YOUR NAME – EBA Communications Officer’ by 31 May at the latest. Interviews will take place on a rolling basis. Please consider that only the selected CVs will be notified for further process and interview.

8th of March 2022 – Today, the European Commission announced a target for the production of 35 billion cubic metres (bcm) of biomethane within the EU by 2030 as part of its REPowerEU plan. The biomethane value chain welcomes this target, which is a historic step forward and shows EU leadership. The target will replace 20% of natural gas imports from Russia by a sustainable,  cheaper and locally produced alternative. Biomethane also helps to reduce exposure to food price volatility because digestate, a co-product of biomethane production, replaces currently expensive synthetic fertilisers.

We are a group of about 30 companies and organisations, coordinated by European Biogas Association and Common Futures. Last December we published the Biomethane Declaration. In this Declaration we called for a scale-up of biomethane to 350 TWh by 2030, which roughly equals 35bcm. As part of the 35 bcm target, the Commission wants to double EU biomethane already in 2022. This requires urgent and immediate action. Also, the biomethane target should be integrated in the EU Renewable Energy Directive and other legislation. We are keen to continue to cooperate with the European Commission and Member States to fulfill the new target.

Mobilising sustainable biomass feedstock and investing in new production capacity

The target can be achieved largely based on waste and residue feedstocks (see annex). Also, a role can be foreseen for sustainable crops produced in sequential or double cropping schemes without competition with food and feed production.

Today the EU produces 3 bcm of biomethane. Scaling-up to 35bcm requires the mobilisation of sustainable biomass feedstock, mostly waste and residues, plus building about 5,000 new biomethane plants. From a technical perspective this is feasible during the next eight years. And it’s cost-effective as well. Some €80 billion in capital investments would be needed, European money spent in our domestic economy. It allows us to produce biomethane at a cost that is considerably lower than the natural gas price over the past several months  , even without the CO2 price. And in addition to building new integrated biogas-biomethane installations, it would also be possible to cost-effectively add methanation units to existing biogas plants. We also call for a rapid commercialisation of gasification technology, which allows for biomethane production from woody residues.

BREAKDOWN OF 35 BCM BASED ON AVAILABLE BIOMASS FEEDSTOCK


Contact:

Harmen Dekker, European Biogas Association: dekker@europeanbiogas.eu; +31 654331782

Daan Peters, Common Futures: daan.peters@commonfutures.com; +31 634489780



Brussels, 8 March 2022 – The European Commission communication REPowerEU released today is a decisive step towards the rapid development of the biomethane industry in Europe. “Europe needs to urgently diversify and reduce its dependence on Russian gas whilst stepping up on the ambition for the climate targets. The sector is ready to deliver the 35 bcm by 2030 proposed by the EU  and calls for the inclusion of this target in the recast of the Renewable Energy Directive (REDIII), currently under development. Close cooperation between the European Commission, Members States and the biomethane value chain will be required to ensure immediate action following today’s proposals. The biomethane target represents over 20% of the current EU gas imports from Russia. By 2050, this potential can triple, growing well over 100 bcm and covering 30-50% of the future EU gas demand.” Explains Harmen Dekker, CEO of the European Biogas Association (EBA).

The EBA has been intensely working to table sustainable biomethane as an essential renewable energy source in the past years. Over the past months, this work has been intensified within the Sustainable Biomethane Initiative, in which the EBA, together with Common Futures and representatives of the biomethane value chain, has started discussions with the European Commission and different Member States. Achieving the target presented today will require close public – private cooperation to attract capital investments. The significant increase of biomethane production will secure affordable and sustainable energy for EU citizens and will support the resilience of the EU economy.

“Some countries  are already active in  the development of the biomethane production in Europe. Many others are starting to unlock this potential now. Concerted actions across Member States will be critical to increase energy security with a scalable green gas in the coming months and years.” Underlines Harmen Dekker. The full supply chain of biomethane producers and users is ready to continue investing in the sector and deliver renewable gas for Europe with the support of national and EU policymakers.


About biomethane

Biomethane –  purified biogas  is a renewable alternative to natural gas. Its multiple applications include heat and power supply for our buildings and industries, and renewable fuel production for the transport sector. 

About the EBA

The EBA fully believes in the future potential of renewable gas in Europe. Founded in February 2009, the association is committed to the deployment of sustainable biogas and biomethane production and use throughout the continent. EBA counts today on a well-established network of over 200 national organisations covering the whole biogas and biomethane value chain across Europe and beyond.

About the Sustainable Biomethane Initiative

The Sustainable Biomethane Initiative is a collaborative platform of companies and associations working to  ensure the large, Europe-wide scale-up and use of sustainable biomethane. The platform is chaired by the EBA and supported by the energy transition consultancy, Common Futures.

Contact

Angela Sainz – EBA Communications Manager, +32 483 07 10 46  sainz@europeanbiogas.eu

The European Green Deal aims to reduce 55% of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the European Union by 2030. This directive would turn Europe into the first climate neutral continent. A swift decarbonisation of the EU economy is needed to reach that goal. This will require a deep transformation of our energy system to accommodate increasing shares of renewable and low-carbon energy sources, such as biomethane or hydrogen. This process will encompass all sectors of our economy, including transport, which is responsible for nearly a quarter of Europe’s GHG emissions.

The objective of this paper is to highlight the environmental advantages of the use of bio-LNG in the heavy duty (HD) transport and the maritime sector and its importance as the most readily available solution for the sectors’ decarbonisation. Additionally, it is crucial to underline the role bio-LNG will play in the future and the regulatory framework needed to support this sustainable fuel’s development. Current information regarding the existing bio-LNG/LNG market, the bio-LNG/LNG potential, needs of the sector, and political recommendations are herewith presented.

  • Rapid scale up needed to achieve a biomethane production of at least 34 bcm before 2030.
  • Clear political support will give investors confidence to support biomethane deployment.
  • Biomethane produced in Europe is right now 30% cheaper than natural gas and can reduce EU energy dependency on external suppliers.
Current gas infrastructure can transport biomethane produced in Europe.

Brussels, 17 February 2022 Today, the natural gas price stands at €80, compared to €18 a year ago. Prices for next winter are expected to remain at a similarly high level, according to current estimations. While governments are struggling to reduce the impact of soaring energy prices on citizens’ energy bills, they have a solution within reach: scaling up the production of sustainable biomethane.

Today, the price of biomethane can be 30% lower than the current natural gas pricing. Biomethane can be produced starting from €55/MWh, whereas natural gas costs around €80/MWh, without considering CO2 prices[1]. This renewable gas will likely remain cheaper than natural gas in the short and also in the long term. Whilst other renewable gases such as green hydrogen need time to scale up and are still 2-4 times more expensive, biomethane is available and scalable within the coming 8 years[2].

The rapid scale up of biomethane across Europe could provide at least 34 bcm of renewable gas by 2030 if underpinned by a supportive legislative framework. This represents approximately 10% of total EU gas demand by 2030. This potential is reflected in many recent reports from different sources, including the European Commission[3]. According to the EBA, if the growth trend continues, by 2050 the biomethane industry could cover 30-40% of the EU gas demand.

The deployment of biomethane made in Europe can help stabilize the current gas price increase related to disruptions of gas supply from third parties. There is an urgent need to reduce dependence on external gas suppliers, as the EU produces today less than 15% of its gas demand. The current conflict between Russia, Europe’s biggest gas supplier[4], and Ukraine, could exacerbate the energy crisis due to a shortage of gas supplies. Soaring gas prices are having a direct impact on the energy bill of millions of EU households. This situation is forcing national governments across Europe to invest billions of euros into measures to protect consumers[5].

Clear political support is needed to draw more investments into the sector and unlock the full potential of biomethane. The whole biomethane value chain is ready to boost biomethane production in the European continent. The European Biogas Association calls for a new public-private partnership to produce 40 bcm of biomethane by 2030. On top of the 34 bcm of sustainable biomethane by 2030, 6 bcm more can be produced in Ukraine. This would provide additional renewable gas supplies while supporting economic growth in that country. Biomethane can be transported through the existing gas grids, which reduces additional costs of infrastructure deployment.

“A strong sense of urgency is growing to secure investments and ensure the deployment of biomethane facilities across Europe. Additional partnerships, such as the recently launched Sustainable Biomethane Initiative, showcase the interest from industry users, producers and other major companies within the value chain, on the deployment of this renewable gas right now. Fostering the rapid scale up of biomethane means supporting climate change mitigation, reducing dependency on external gas supplies and dealing with an unprecedented natural gas price increase. A clear legislative framework will provide certainty for long-term investments on the roll out of sustainable biomethane.” Harmen Dekker, CEO of the EBA.


Contact

Angela Sainz – EBA Communications Manager, +32 483 07 10 46  sainz@europeanbiogas.eu

About the European Biogas Association (EBA)

The EBA is the voice of renewable gas in Europe. Founded in February 2009, the association is committed to the active promotion of the deployment of sustainable biogas and biomethane production and use throughout the continent. The association counts today on a well-established network representing the whole biogas and biomethane value chain.


[1] This means an additional amount of €18/MWh, as carbon price has reached €90/tonne. Users of fossil fuels under the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), such as power plants, industry factories and certain areas of transport, are required to pay for each tonne of CO2 they release into the atmosphere.

[2] Green hydrogen costs EUR180/MWh today.

[3] https://climatecooperation.cn/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/com_2018_733_analysis_in_support_en_0.pdf

[4] https://www.bruegel.org/publications/datasets/european-natural-gas-imports/

[5] https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/europes-efforts-shield-households-soaring-energy-costs-2022-02-03/

The statistical office of the European Union (Eurostat) announced this week that the EU has met the target of 10% deployment of renewable energy in transport by 2020. The target was set to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the transport sector by promoting the use of renewable energy. The share of green energy in the EU mobility sector includes biomethane, liquid biofuels and renewable electricity. These renewable alternatives should benefit from relevant legislative support to make sure we continue reaching our GHG emissions reductions goals in the transport sector.

The EU transport sector relies heavily on fossil fuels and is responsible for one quarter of Europe’s GHG emissions, a share that keeps growing. In addition, the sector is a significant source of air pollution. Hence, the replacement of fossil fuels by renewable alternatives in transport is right now one of EU’s top priorities.

Eurostat data show that the average share of energy from renewables in transport increased from 1.6% in 2004 to 10.2% in 2020, slightly above the target level. This share includes renewable electricity, but also biomethane and liquid biofuels. It would be logical to think that all these solutions receive equal support to make sure that the share of renewable energy in transport continues growing.

Part of this support will come from the development of relevant legislation. However the focus on electricity only and the related tail pipe approach is leading to a stop on alternative fuels with equal or sometimes even better GHG footprint. Whilst we need to decarbonize as quickly as we can, we do not have the luxury to focus on only one fuel. All alternative fuels are needed and should be supported in relation to their total GHG footprint. Hence, proposed stops on production of combustion engine (ICE) cars from 2035 seems at first sight sensible. The focus should not be on the engine, but on the fuel used. Besides, ICE engines are more affordable for EU citizens.

The share of biomethane in transport is significantly higher than the share of green electricity. Data from NGVA Europe disclosed also this week shows that more than a quarter of the gas used in road transport today is renewable and 3,810 CNG stations delivered biomethane to European consumers in December 2020[1].

The role of biomethane in reducing emissions in the transport sector deserves more attention. Many studies confirm the incredibly high performance of this alternative to reduce emissions according to the lifecycle approach (LCA)[1]. The LCA approach considers all emissions released across the whole lifespan of the vehicles. The GHG emissions balance when using this green fuel can even be negative, meaning that the vehicle is not increasing the emissions but, instead, reducing them. However, the EU standard to measure CO2 emissions in the mobility sector proposed by EU legislation is focusing only on 1 part of the total emissions (tailpipe emissions) which gives a distorted picture of the emissions related to transport.

If we go back to Eurostat data, Sweden was the clear leader in the use of renewables in transport with a share of 31.9%. This leadership is explained, according to the EU statistical office, by the high use of compliant biofuels, including biomethane. The Swedish state provides investment support for sustainable biomethane production and refueling infrastructure. The government provides also end user incentives to stimulate the purchase of vehicles running on sustainable gas and has set out strict environmental zones in cities, allowing only low emission vehicles. They also apply long-term tax exemptions on biomethane, ensuring that vehicles are refueled with renewable and sustainable biomethane. This approach has resulted in a world leading biomethane share of 95%.

The data disclosed by Eurostat this week prove that there is not one single solution towards net-zero in transport and, consequently, support to all readily available solutions and technologies is crucial. This support should come in the form of a clear, coherent and technology-neutral legislative framework driving investments towards the large-scale development of  all renewable alternatives contributing to clean mobility.


[1] https://www.ngva.eu/medias/2510-biocng-in-2020-new-data-proves-rapid-growth-of-biomethane-in-transport/

[1] https://www.europeanbiogas.eu/acknowledging-the-full-potential-of-biomethane-as-transport-fuel/

Source: Eurostat 2022

The biomethane industry smashed all records in 2021: Europe has now 1,023 production plants[1]. Considering the decarbonisation potential of biomethane, this figure is a steppingstone for the decarbonisation of the whole EU economy.

“2021 has witnessed the most exponential deployment of biomethane plants in Europe. Nothing surprising here considering what biomethane brings to table for decarbonisation: it is the only renewable fuel available and scalable today in Europe which can enable the cost-competitive use of already existing gas infrastructure. The combined amount of biomethane and biogas (raw form of biomethane) available today can cover already the whole gas consumption of Belgium[2]
Boyana Achovski, GIE Secretary General.

“The EBA estimates that 87% of the biomethane plants active in Europe today are connected to the gas grid. To ensure that biomethane will play an increasingly important role as a renewable fuel, an efficient trade of biomethane across Europe should be established. Besides, the future development of gas infrastructure should consider the necessary adaptations to enable the injection of higher shares of biomethane in the distribution grids.” Harmen Dekker, EBA Director.

On its way to meet 1,000 TWh production by 2050

Today, Europe has around 20,000 units in operation (total number of biogas and biomethane plants). Sustainable biomethane can cover up to 30-40% of the EU gas consumption expected for 2050, with an estimated production of at least 1,000 TWh[3].Biomethane plants are exponentially growing across Europe: the Biomethane Map shows that almost 300 new units started operation in the past one and a half year. Europe has today 40% more biomethane plants compared to the previous edition released in 2020. The fast implementation of biomethane technologies will speed-up the decarbonisation of the EU economy. Yet, the sector will need relevant legislative support in the coming years to harness its full potential.

Biomethane deployment around Europe

France, Italy, and Denmark are the countries with the largest increase on the number of biomethane plants. No less than 91 new units began operation in France in 2020 and 123 plants started operation between January and October 2021. After France, the countries which saw the biggest growth in their number of biomethane plants are Italy (+11 plants in 2020) and Denmark (+ 10 plants in 2020).


Get your free map today

About this map

The Biomethane Map is the result of an ongoing collaboration between the EBA and GiE. This edition contains consolidated data from October 2021, although a few countries include only 2020 data. Further analysis on the biogas and biomethane markets can be found in the EBA statistical report 2021.


Press contacts

  • Ángela Sainz Arnau

EBA Communications Manager – sainz@europeanbiogas.eu +32 483 07 10 46

  • Gabrielle Lelievre

Communication Advisor – gabrielle.lelievre@gie.eu +32 478 78 34 83

About the EBA

The EBA is the voice of renewable gas in Europe. Founded in February 2009, the association is committed to the active promotion of the deployment of sustainable biogas and biomethane production and use throughout the continent. EBA counts today on a well-established network of over 200 national organisations, scientific institutes and companies from Europe and beyond.

About GIE

GIE is the association of the gas infrastructure operators of Europe active in transmission, underground storage, and LNG terminals. It represents around 70 member companies from 26 countries. GIE members work and innovate to become the backbone of the new innovative energy system, allowing European citizens to benefit from a secure, efficient, and sustainable energy supply.


[1] Of those, 994 plats were located by the EBA and displayed on this map.

[2]  EBA Statistical Report 2021 https://www.europeanbiogas.eu/new-report-highlights-biomethane-ramp-up-and-best-pathways-for-full-renewable-gas-deployment/

[3] Gas Decarbonisation pathways 2020 – 2050, Gas for climate (2020)


Clarity and predictability key to stimulate renewable gas solutions

Brussels, 16 December 2021 – The European Commission has launched this week the long-awaited ‘EU framework to decarbonize gas markets’ to facilitate access of renewable and low-carbon gases to existing gas markets and infrastructure. The biogas industry welcomes the establishment of Europe-wide rules facilitating an accelerated, steep growth of biomethane integration in the gas network after 2025. This underpins the ultimate goal of the industry to achieve 1,700 TWh/y of biomethane production by 2050.

The EBA welcomes the integration of provisions setting-up the basis of a Europe-wide “right to inject” in gas networks for biomethane producers, but recalls that ensuring biomethane injection requires a strong commitment of grid operators to maximise firm capacity for this green gas. In other words, operators should guarantee the availability of biomethane in the grid. Additionally, biomethane injection should be based on the principles of priority connection and dispatch for decentralized producers, as well as on alleviating their costs for network connection. Biomethane producers should have access to tariff discounts for injection of renewable gases, and the proposal made by the European Commission in this regard (at least 75% discount at the entry points of the transmission and distribution system) is good step in this direction.

However, the biomethane industry believes there is a lack of clear signals to stimulate renewable and low carbon gas production. The EBA and other partners have been advocating for a GHG intensity reduction target of 20% of the gas supply by 2030 at EU level, compared to 2018. Such target would be an additional driver for renewable gases. It would contribute to predictability and confidence among the gas value chain and investors.

The EBA is concerned about the confusion that could create the inclusion of “biogas” in the legal definition of “natural gas”. The two are widely understood as different commodities. A clear differentiation between renewable and fossil gases is needed in the Directive and its national transposition, and, as a consequence, in documents disclosed to consumers by gas suppliers. As the Commissions states, consumers need to be able to clearly differentiate between the available gases and make low carbon choices.

The future development of gas infrastructure should adequately assess the increasing number of biomethane injection points at local level. Distribution system operators (DSO’s), responsible for delivering the renewable gas to the final consumers, will be key players in this decentralized energy system. This will also require higher coordination between DSOs and Transmission System Operators (TSOs), which manage the rest of the grid infrastructure. The EBA supports higher DSO’s involvement in the design of the National Development Plans (NDP), to ensure they reflect the potential of biomethane injection.

Additionally, the future development of the gas grids should consider the necessary adaptations to accommodate higher shares of biomethane. The reinforcement of gas networks, particularly DSO grids, will need additional investments, to reach also rural productions sites. Grid operators will have to build smart grids to be able to operate a 100% renewable gas system with different sort of gases and many injection points.

“The Gas Package is a positive step ensuring non-discriminatory access to the gas grid for biogas producers but we call for clearer and  consistent definitions as well as for a higher ambition level in terms of actions securing reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the required rapid uptake of renewable gases.” Harmen Dekker, Director of the European Biogas Association (EBA).

This comprehensive map locates and lists all known biomethane installations running in Europe. It has been produced with the information gathered from national biogas associations, energy agencies and companies.

The map provides specific details about each biomethane plant, including location, production capacity, start of operation and status of grid connection. The map also includes information on cross-border interconnection points, gas reserve areas and transport by pipeline.

The map brings additional data about the evolution of biomethane production in Europe and the percentage of biomethane plants connected to the distribution and transport grids.

This is the third edition of the map. It has been made in cooperation between two organisations promoting the development of renewable gases: the European Biogas Association (EBA) and Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE). The second edition of the map was launched in June 2020.

Brussels, 7 December 2021Today, 28 European companies and organisations presented the Biomethane Declaration to Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy, in a lively online event.

The Declaration signatories recognise that biomethane is the most cost-effective, scalable and sustainable renewable gas available today. The declaration highlights the willingness of biomethane producers and users, with a combined annual turnover of around €300 billion, to play their part in scaling-up sustainable biomethane to at least 350 TWh by 2030, the potential estimated by the European Commission[1].

European Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, accepted the Biomethane Declaration, highlighting that biomethane will be important to achieve climate neutrality, including for heating homes and for transport. Biomethane also boosts energy security according to the Commissioner, who also welcomed a continued dialogue on the future of biomethane in Europe.

The companies supporting the Biomethane Declaration are keen to work with national and EU policy makers and other stakeholders to scale-up biomethane in Europe, while ensuring full compliance with strict sustainability requirements and maximising benefits such as rural job creation.

The Biomethane Declaration can be accessed via: News – Gas for Climate 2050. For more information, please contact Harmen Dekker, coordinator of the Biomethane Declaration (dekker@europeanbiogas.eu, +31 6 5433 1782), or Angela Sainz (sainz@europeanbiogas.eu, +32 483071046)


[1] The European Commission estimated a biomethane potential of 30 Mtoe (350 TWh) by 2030 in the In-depth analysis supporting the Clean Planet for All Communication (2018)

Brussels, 29/11/2021 – The DiBiCoo EU project has launched an online platform to connect European technology providers with partners developing biogas projects in emerging countries, easily and without costs. Global leaders have committed to deploy higher shares of renewable energy, including biogas, in their countries as one of the measures to fight climate change during COP26. Europe is one of the biggest biogas producers worldwide. It has developed in the past decades valuable know-how and cutting-edge biogas technologies which can support the deployment of higher shares of renewable energy in Europe and beyond.

The Biogas and Gasification Matchmaking Platform  can be used free of charge and serves to build successful and sustainable international business relationships. Innovative ideas from local project developers can use the networking platform to find suitable business partners for project realisation quickly, easily and under fair market conditions. European technology providers can expand their business and find interesting projects outside EU borders. Interested companies can create a dedicated profile, look for business opportunities, engage with other stakeholders active within the platform or download valuable reports and other materials about the sector. “This tool connects with one click technology providers and project developers around the globe, helping them save time and resources and supporting the further deployment of biogas and the energy transition at global scale.” Highlights Harmen Dekker, Director of the EBA.

In the past year, research undertaken within the DiBiCoo consortium identified technology and service needs for efficient and sustainable biogas production in different emerging countries which have considerable feedstock potential to produce this green gas. The partners also analysed the challenges and opportunities for the exportation of European biogas technologies and services. DiBiCoo successfully connects already 13 organisations from Europe, Argentina, Ethiopia, Ghana, Indonesia and South Africa. The consortium envisages to expand this cooperation to other areas at global level. For this reason, the platform launched today will remain online beyond the finalization of the project with the support of the EBA and the German Biogas Association.

In order to support emerging countries in the deployment of biogas, experts from the DiBiCoo consortium have also analysed more than 50 biogas projects worldwide. The top five technically and economically promising projects can now be found in the platform and will receive advisory support in the implementation of their goals with the help of individual feasibility studies, advancing in their region as best-practice examples on a demonstration scale.

In Ethiopia, for example, DiBiCoo is supporting a collaborative project between Bahir Dar University and Lake Tana and other Waterbodies Protection and Development Agency. The project uses invasive water hyacinths from the water body as a co-substrate in anaerobic digestion to produce biogas. This will not only generate electricity sustainably for local power supply (1,600 kWe), but will also protect the natural biodiversity of the lake.

Other project developers use municipal or industrial waste, such as organic fractions, thin stillage and process waste water, to generate power, which is mainly used locally for self-supply of electricity. Biomethane itself can also be used and distributed directly by feeding it into local gas grids in other cases. A comprehensive overview of the demonstration projects and the selection process can be found on the project website: dibicoo.org.

Biogas can be converted into electricity, heat, gas or fuel.It therefore plays an essential role in the phase out of fossil fuels and the transformation of our energy systems and our economies at global level. This is in line with the COP26 climate negotiations, but also with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (UN), which include the promotion of “affordable and clean energy“. The matchmaking platform provides unique digital infrastructure to continue improving cooperation for the deployment of biogas and is thus a prerequisite for successful future renewable energy projects all over the world.


CONTACT

Angela Sainz Arnau : sainz@europeanbiogas.eu

EBA Communications Manager

About DiBiCoo

This EU project facilitates collaboration between European biogas industries & stakeholders from emerging and developing markets through the development and application of innovative digital and non-digital support tools, knowledge transfer and capacity building.

Brussels, 25 November 2021 – By 2050, 30 to 40 % of Europe’s total gas consumption could be made up of sustainable biomethane, according to the 11th edition of the Statistical Report launched today by the European Biogas Association. The report provides an in-depth analysis on the state of the art and the potential of biogas and its upgraded form, biomethane, and the best pathways to ensure full deployment in the coming years as part of the future energy mix.

The EBA Statistical Report analyses the current availability of renewable gases in Europe, notably biogas and biomethane. Combined biogas and biomethane production in 2020 amounted to 191 TWh or 18.0 bcm of energy and this figure is expected to double in the next 9 years. By 2050, production can be at least fivefold reaching over 1,000 TWh, with some estimates going up to 1,700 TWh. Agriculture-based biogas and biomethane plants make up the lion’s share of the total production, which is now already more than the entire natural gas consumption of Belgium and represents 4.6 % of the gas consumption of the European Union. In terms of job creation, the report shows that biogas and biomethane industries are already responsible for over 210,000 green jobs today. Both sectors combined can be expected to create a total of approximately 420,000 jobs by 2030 and over one million jobs by 2050. The report highlights the needed collaboration as well between the biomethane and the other potential major renewable gases, such as green hydrogen in future years.

Over the last decade, the delivery of dispatchable power and heat from biogas has been very important and its role will continue to some extent. However, the current trend places the emphasis squarely on sustainable biomethane production, and it is expected that this tendency will be amplified in the coming decade: biomethane is a versatile energy carrier, suitable for a range of sectors, including transport, industry, power and heating. 2020 saw the biggest year on year increase in biomethane production so far in spite of the pandemic, with an additional 6.4 TWh or 0.6 bcm of biomethane produced in Europe. An even bigger increase is to be expected in 2021, as a record number of new biomethane plants started production in 2020 and are due to become fully operational within 2021.

The remaining future gas demand can be met by other renewable and low-carbon solutions such as green hydrogen. The development of synergies between green gases will be key to meeting future gas market demands. In line with this, the report highlights the need to develop a vision of how biomethane and hydrogen will integrate with each other in the future. Future infrastructure investments should aim to strengthen the distribution of renewable gases by considering the specific requirements of each gas as well as their most suitable deployment.

The report points out as well a clear tendence towards the increasing use of sustainable feedstocks for biogas and biomethane production. These include mostly industrial waste, municipal waste or agricultural residues. It is also expected that the remaining energy crops to produce biogas will be replaced

by sustainable cropping, for example with the introduction of sequential cropping systems which at the same time allows for carbon farming and revitalization of the soil.

The contribution to sustainability is one of the benefits of biogas and biomethane production for our society, but there are many others. As the EBA report points out, a solid calculation of the economic value of the wider benefits of biogas and biomethane is needed, so that the revenue channels for biogas and biomethane producers can be diversified. The translation of these societal benefits into market signals would allow biogas and biomethane production to compete on fairer terms with other types of energy supply while at the same time further stimulating production plants to achieve the highest levels of societal benefit.

In terms of use by sectors, the need for decarbonization of all transport modes will be especially relevant for the coming years and thus the need for further renewable gas uptake in that sector. According to the report launched today, the sustainable European Bio-LNG (liquified biomethane) production capacity by 2024, considering only confirmed plants, adds up to 10.6 TWh per year. This projected 2024 production capacity could fuel almost 25,000 LNG trucks for the whole year.

“Today, the EU is 90% dependent on imported fossil gas. The EBA Statistical Report 2021 highlights best possible pathways to accelerate sustainable renewable gas deployment and ensure we are on track to meet climate-neutrality by 2050, making use of all possible solutions within our reach” States EBA Director Harmen Dekker.

The EBA Statistical Report has become a reference publication, engaging with policymakers, market developers, investors and consumers across Europe. The 11th edition includes new and more detailed country insights and forecasts for the years to come, as well as specific chapters on transport and job creation. The publication is available for purchase on the EBA website. The report will be presented in a dedicated webinar next Tuesday.


Contact

Angela Sainz Arnau – EBA Communications Manager sainz@europeanbiogas.eu

Vinciane Perot (sales Statistical Report): perot@europeanbiogas.eu

Find out more with the EBA Technical and Project Manager Mieke Decorte.

The European Biogas Association (EBA) is delighted to invite you to its 5th Biogas Lab webinar on ‘Boosting cost-competitiveness in biogas production’, which will take place on Wednesday 23 February 2022 from 14:00 to 15:00 CET.

The reduction of production costs for biogas and biomethane is essential to ensure the scale-up of the sector and consequently accelerate the decarbonization of the EU energy system by 2050.

The webinar will showcase the efforts from commercialised and highly promising technologies contributing to reduce production costs and increase the efficiency of biogas production.

Preliminary agenda:

  • Biogas 4.0: Discovering the Biogas & Gasification Matchmaking Platform – Mieke Decorte, EBA Technical & Project Manager
  • The REGATRACE Network – Katharina Kramer, ERGaR
  • An introduction to the COASTAL Biogas project – Jorgen Held, Baltic Energy Innovation Centre
  • Techno-Economic Assessment of utilisation of excess nutrient-rich digestate for microalgal production – Roshni Paul, Birmingham City University

The 11th edition of the EBA Statistical Report serves as a reference document and is the most comprehensive report covering the European biogas and biomethane market, both on a European level and at a national level in the specific county analyses. The report is the result of a decade long collaboration between the EBA and its national associations, and contains the combined knowledge of the EBA’s extensive network of members active in the European biogas and biomethane markets.

You can download here an excerpt of the publication. The full report is free for EBA members and is available for purchase to external organisations. Please contact Vinciane Perot for further inquiries at: perot@europeanbiogas.eu

Find out more with the EBA Technical and Project Manager Mieke Decorte.

Biogas sector presents first overview of European technologies to boost deployment of renewable gas as global leaders discuss climate goals at COP26


The publication is part of the DiBiCoo EU project, aimed at connecting biogas technology providers in Europe with biogas projects developed outside EU borders

Brussels 9 November 2021 – The European Biogas Association (EBA) is launching the first comprehensive categorization of European Biogas and Gasification Technologies, aimed at giving visibility to high-quality European products and services from the biogas sector. Global leaders are now discussing the next steps in the climate agenda at the COP26 summit and the urgent need for deep and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. The EU biogas sector is strongly committed with climate-neutrality and is ready to deploy increased shares of renewable gas, supported by recognised technology applications and services.


The sector is well developed in Europe and is ready to scale-up. According to data from the European Biogas Association, the combined production of biogas and its upgraded from, biomethane, could cover today 4.6% of the whole EU gas demand. By 2050, about 30-40 % of EU gas needs can be met by biogas/biomethane. As one of the global leaders in biogas production, European producers are now seeking new ways for cooperation with third countries to support the deployment of biogas outside EU borders.


The EBA, together with the German Biogas Association (FvB) and the Austrian Compost and Biogas Association, are already working on this direction in the framework of the DiBiCoo EU Project. One of the fruits of this cooperation is the Categorization of European Biogas and Gasification Technologies presented today. The overview is divided in 2 different publications, one dedicated to anaerobic digestion (AD) and the other one focused on gasification. These guides are intended as a solid starting point in learning about anaerobic digestion and gasification.


After the introductory section about Anaerobic Digestion (AD), the first publication follows the logic of the biogas production process, progressing from on-site feedstock storage options and pre-treatment requirements to the various digester technologies. Special, detailed chapters are included on issues of particular relevance for all biogas plants (including, for example, a chapter on measurement, control and regulation technologies). The upgrading of biogas to biomethane quality is introduced, along with other biogas applications, such as its GHG mitigation potential and use in Combined Heat & Power (CHP) plants.

The second publication, tackling gasification, provides an introductory section on biomass conversion processes. The text follows the logic of the wood gas production process, progressing from the various gasifier technologies to feedstock specifics, storage, and necessary pre-treatment. Special, detailed chapters on issues of particular relevance for all gasification plants are included (e.g. on measurement, control and regulation technologies).


The deployment of renewable energy, including biogas, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at global level is urgent. Global cooperation in the framework of projects such as DiBiCoo is essential to speed-up this process with the implementation of new renewable energy projects, ensuring the best possible future for our next generations. The value of biogas is heightened in scenarios such as the IEA Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS), which meet in full the world’s goals to tackle climate change, improve air quality and provide access to modern energy.


• DOWNLOAD CATEGORIZATION OF EUROPEAN BIOGAS TECHNOLOGIES
• DOWNLOAD CATEGORIZATION OF EUROPEAN GASIFICATION TECHNOLOGIES



CONTACT
Angela Sainz Arnau : sainz@europeanbiogas.eu +32 2 400 10 89
EBA Communications Manager

Opening speech from VP Timmermans’ Cabinet points out the EU need to move away from fossil gas and bring in renewable and low carbon gases.

Biomethane is ready to decabonise our transport, industry and buildings: 30-40 % of our gas needs can be met by biogas/biomethane by 2050.

Increased share of sustainable feedstocks and contribution to the circular bioeconomy on the spotlight in the sessions of this edition.


Brussels 4 November 2021 – The European Biogas Conference 2021 was held last week with great success. Over 200 participants and more than 40 speakers gathered in Brussels on 26 to 27 October the latest developments of renewable gases in Europe. The EU is at the forefront of the low carbon agenda setting the global pace and with the ‘Fit for 55’ package it has provided the regulatory context to move forward. Inspiring interventions and discussions tackled the availability, sustainability and scalability of biogas and its upgraded form, biomethane, in Europe, and how these green gases are making the transition towards a climate-neutral Europe a reality. The conference was also the official launch of the new visual identity of the European Biogas Association, more in line with the current positioning of the sector at the core of our future energy system and with its commitment to shape our circular bioeconomy.

Alexandra Tomczak member of the cabinet of the European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans, stressed during the opening the need to “move away from fossil gas and bring in renewable and low carbon gases, such as hydrogen, biogas and biomethane.” and “think about the long-term resilience of the energy systemwhere “any substitutes for imported fossil gas and more investments in renewable energy will be our strategy to go forward.”

The figures from the EBA Statistical Report, with the 2021 edition foreseen end of this month, are encouraging: there is a massive growth of biomethane from 2019 to 2020 and the future forecasts are equally promising, as highlighted by Harmen Dekker, EBA Director, during his keynote intervention. The combined production of biogas and biomethane could cover today 4.6% of the whole EU gas demand. This is already higher than the overall natural gas consumption in Belgium. By 2050, about 30-40 % of our gas needs can be met by biogas/biomethane. Fostered collaboration and a supportive regulatory framework, will be crucial in ensuring the scale-up of the sector. One of the areas where biomethane can play an important role is transport. The forecasted production of bioLNG for 2024 (liquified biomethane) could fuel more than 25,000 long haul heavy-duty trucks, decreasing emissions from those vehicles below zero levels.

There is no silver bullet for our energy challenges. There is room for different solutions. This conference brilliantly showcased from multiple perspectives on how biogas and biomethane are a solution for the decarbonisation of many sectors (industry, transport, buildings). It also demonstrated how biogas and biomethane are contributing to shape our circular bioeconomy. As summarised by one of the conference speakers, “Waste from 1000 citizens can power biogas for a bus for 1 year and create 1-3 jobs”, delivering renewable energy, clean transport, waste reduction and green employment.

As stressed by Pierre Bascou (Director of ‘Sustainability and income support’, at the European Commission Directorate General for Agriculture) during the opening of the 2nd day of the conference, biogas production contributes to reducing emissions in agriculture, while generating other benefits: “It creates additional income streams for the farming community (…), it delivers heat and electricity in areas not directly connected to national distribution infrastructure, therefore enforcing EU energy security. It also contributes to the deployment of low-value added products of the agriculture and food processing sectors, valorising waste and replacing mineral fertilisers, (…) ensuring there’s no deterioration in soil fertility.”

This edition has also put on the spotlight the use of sustainable and innovative feedstocks for biogas production, including the presentation of a brand new report on the use of sequential cropping or the potential of industrial wastewater. The adequate monitoring and prevention of methane leakages was also discussed in a dedicated session during the conference. This is part of the need to continue fostering innovation and investing on new techniques to strengthen the efficiency and the sustainability of the sector. One of the new applications explored in that framework is the recovery of CO2 from biomethane upgrading.

The European Biogas Conference was also the occasion to recognise outstanding individuals and projects committed with the energy transition and the deployment of a truly circular economy. The winners of the 1st edition of the EBA Awards were announced during the gala dinner: Prodeval (Biogas Cost Reductions Award), Cooperativa Speranza (Biogas Circularity Award), Marie Esteve (Women leading the way to climate-neutrality Award), Emilio Folli (Top Biogas Young Talent Award). Harm Grobrügge, former EBA President who passed away only some weeks ago, was honored with the Biogas Booster award, which will from now on bear his name. Participants had also the opportunity to visit the stands of some of the key stakeholders working on the industry (SHV Energy, bmp greengas, BIOTHANE-VEOLIA, Bayotech, APROVIS, IES Biogas and SeekOps) or explore our LNG truck, ready to run on bioLNG and support the decarbonization of heavy-duty transport in Europe.


Watch the video to relive the best moments of the EBA Conference 2021!

The following document provides an overview of existing European gasification technologies and the main gasification processes.

After the introductory section on biomass conversion processes, the text follows the logic of the wood gas production process, progressing from the various gasifier technologies to feedstock specifics, storage, and necessary pre-treatment. Special, detailed chapters on issues of particular relevance for all gasification plants are included (e.g. on measurement, control and regulation technologies).

Due to the amount of existing information available on this topic, it may be the case that not everything is included or considered extensively. This document is intended as a solid starting point in learning about gasification. It cannot replace specialised training courses or professional planning. Some additional technologies and applications relevant for gasification have already been outlined in the document ‘Overview and Categorisation of European Biogas
Technologies focusing on Anaerobic Digestion’.


The detailed descriptions of certain technologies do not imply any preference for a specific technology, service provider or device. Similarly, pictures showing company names are included for visualisation purposes only and should not be seen as an endorsement of any specific company or technology.

The following document provides an overview of existing European biogas technologies.

After the introductory section about Anaerobic Digestion (AD), the text follows the logic of the biogas production process, progressing from on-site feedstock storage options and pre-treatment requirements to the various digester technologies. Special, detailed chapters are included on issues of particular relevance for all biogas plants (including, for example, a chapter on measurement, control and regulation technologies). The upgrading of biogas to biomethane quality is introduced, along with other biogas applications, such as its GHG mitigation potential and use in Combined Heat & Power (CHP) plants.

Due to the huge amount of existing information available on this topic, it may be the case that not everything is included or considered extensively here. This guide is intended as a solid starting point in learning about anaerobic digestion; it cannot replace specialised training courses or professional planning.

The detailed descriptions of certain technologies do not imply any preference for a particular technology, service provider or device. Similarly, pictures showing company names are included for visualisation purposes only and should not be seen as an endorsement of any specific company or technology.

  • Today, the EU is 90% dependent on imported fossil gas and has no significant support to ensure fast deployment of renewable gases

  • Security of gas supply should be based on growing shares of green gas and affordable prices for consumers

Consumers are getting increasingly worried about ballooning energy bills

Brussels, 11 October 2021 – The EU is fully immersed in an energy transition to reduce GHG emissions and increase the use of clean energy sources, which includes phasing out coal and aging nuclear plants. The share of renewable electricity is raising. However, according to the European Commission, we are still 90% dependent on imported fossil gas. There isn’t enough gas to fuel our homes and industries in the post-pandemic recovery and refill stocks before the winter. The EU should seize this opportunity to push for the deployment of higher shares of already available renewable gas produced within EU borders, such as biomethane.

According to Bloomberg News, European gas prices surged by almost 500% in the past year. This sharp raise is due to an increase of global gas demand and unsecure supply from third countries. The current situation may undermine efforts by governments to hit ambitious green goals if they are obliged to turn to coal in order to face demand shortages in their countries: gas emits about half as much carbon dioxide as coal when burned. At the same time, it is resulting in ever higher energy bills for citizens and industries across the continent, already economically hit by the COVID pandemic. We need to make sure that the energy transition will leave no consumers behind.

The European Commission is preparing an official communication to help member states palliate the crisis and protect consumers. The measures and proposals that the EU Executive will soon layout to address the energy crunch should push for targeted support for renewable gas production, demand and infrastructure to boost reliance on clean and locally produced energy sources. The EU has already committed to reduce GHG emissions by at least 55% by 2030.  Denmark, for instance, is close to reach 25% of biomethane injected into the natural gas grid and an additional 5% consumed directly. Heading for higher levels as new production starts! . The Commission has urged governments to coordinate their national measures to lower energy prices avoiding contradictions with EU climate goals. However, the energy mix across the bloc varies significantly, with some Member States enjoying advanced renewable systems while others still highly dependent on fossil fuels, the majority of which come from non-EU exporters.

Within the mix of renewable gases, biomethane is scalable already today and its role in the short and long run should be better assessed in the framework of the European Green Deal. Studies from IEA, Gas for Climate, Eurogas, Cerre or CE Delft evaluating the potential of biomethane, believe that this renewable gas could cover 30-40% of the gas demand in Europe by 2050. Currently, the sector is producing 18 bcm of energy, which is mostly allocated to electricity production although the sustainable biomethane production from biogas is growing within Europe. By the end of this decade, the localized production of biomethane  is expected to double and eventually reach 120 bcm by 2050, EU’s deadline to reach climate-neutrality.

The environmental performance of sustainable biomethane is also promising, as it can reduce GHG emissions below zero levels. Besides, as it is produced from organic residues, it helps reduce industrial and municipal waste. Additionally, biomethane supports the development of the agroecology by using sustainable farming feedstocks and promoting the use of digestate, a by-product of biomethane production, as biofertilizer, contributing thereby to a circular bio-economy.

“We need EU-wide action to ensure all consumers can afford their energy bills while increasing the share of renewable gas in our grids. This will lower our dependency on imported gas and strengthen environmental and local development.”

Harmen Dekker, Director of the EBA.

On the 14th and 15th of September, Energy Delta Institute, in collaboration with the European Biogas Association, will organise the 3d masterclass in Biogas. This two-half-day virtual masterclass takes participants on a helicopter tour of the key components of the rapidly evolving biogas value chain. This Masterclass provides a high-level overview of the entire biogas value chain, from biomass to biogas production, upgrading, distribution, and consumption. It also looks at regulatory issues and the most recent developments in renewable gas and its various applications, such as circular economy, mobility, future business cases, etc.

It is delivered by a line-up of expert lecturers from both academia and industry, bringing a unique combination of biogas potentials and executed practices.

Furthermore, the programme itself has been drafted from the ground up to increase and promote interactivity between participants and lecturers, while also providing ample space to address everyone’s questions.

Finally, the masterclass is aimed at those who want to learn the fundamentals of the biogas value chain as well as those who want to stay up to date on the latest innovations and developments in the field with an overarching European focus.

  • The Life Cycle Assessment is the only means to ensure that CO2 emissions in the transport sector are accurately and comprehensively quantified.

  • Compliance assessments for vehicle manufacturers should consider the contribution of biomethane to emissions reduction.

  • Legislation should introduce a binding obligation to increase the share of sustainably produced biofuels and renewable gases in transport.

 

Brussels 3 June 2021The European biomethane industry has launched today in the framework of the EU Green Week 2021 the paper ‘Smart CO2 standards for negative emissions mobility’, which includes three key recommendations to ensure the deployment of biomethane in transport and consequently achieve a fast, cost effective shift to carbon neutral mobility in Europe by 2050. 

Emissions from transport will need to be reduced by 90% relative to 1990. According to the current trends, the transport sector will fail to contribute to the reduction in emissions required to meet EU targets. To ensure the full decarbonisation of the transport sector, Europe needs to couple electrification with the deployment of all alternative fuels and technologies.

The biomethane industry welcomes the gradual replacement of fossil fuels in the transport sector, but the replacement of these fuels should not penalise the technology they use. Internal combustion engines (ICE) are compatible with renewable fuels, including biomethane. Just as renewable electricity is compatible with the same batteries that are now mostly powered by electricity from fossil origin.

The current standards have adopted an approach to measure the emissions performance of the vehicles that considers only the CO2 emissions produced by the use of the vehicles (Tank-to-Wheel), instead of considering the emissions produced across its whole lifecycle. This penalises the deployment of ICE. However, this technology is already more performant when used with fossil gas than diesel or gasoline alternatives, and high performing when used with biomethane (bio-CNG or bio-LNG[1]).

The environmental performance of biomethane over its complete lifecycle is excellent and has been scientifically proved in different studies, as demonstrated in this paper. Biomethane vehicles can reach even negative emission levels depending on the feedstock and technology used, but this is not recognised by the current regulation.

 

The updating of the CO2 emission performance standards together with other legal frameworks (e.g. RED III or DAFI) must set out a harmonised approach that enables genuinely carbon neutral and cost-effective solutions to reduce CO2 emissions in transport. Eventually, this should lead to the adoption of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach in EU vehicle legislation.

Manufacturing and recycling can represent anything from one fourth to one half of the total vehicle emissions, but are entirely omitted from the current standards. Life Cycle Assessment is the only means to ensure that CO2 emissions in the transport sector are accurately and comprehensively quantified. Considering only tailpipe emissions leaves 93% (54 tonnes/58 tonnes) of transport sector carbon emissions out of the calculation[2].

The CO2 emission standards should also include a new mechanism ensuring that compliance assessments for vehicle manufacturers consider the contribution of biomethane to emissions reduction. This mechanism could take the form of a crediting system or a carbon correction factor (CCF) as a function of the renewable fuel used. If a new mechanism cannot be implemented by 2025 at the latest, then the most efficient gas vehicles should be acknowledged as low emission vehicles within the current system.

The decarbonisation of transport could also be encouraged with a binding obligation for the EU to steadily increase the share of sustainably produced biofuels and renewable gases in transport, reaching 50% in ICE and hybrid vehicles by 2030 and 100% by 2050. 

 

The sustainable production of biomethane for the coming years is large. There is a consensus that by 2030, the biogas and biomethane sectors combined can almost double their production and by 2050, production can more than quadruple. This is equivalent to 100 million passenger vehicles or 2.5 to 5 million heavy duty vehicles (HDV), depending on the type of HDV considered.

The benefits of the use of biomethane for clean mobility go far beyond the transport sector. Biomethane is at the heart of an efficient circular economy: it is the best way to recycle organic waste, produce valuable renewable gas and biofertilisers, promote sustainable and efficient farming practices and create jobs in rural areas. The potential of biogas and biomethane was also pointed out in the recent Farm-to-Fork and Methane strategies of the European Commission.

 

 

[1] Compressed biomethane or liquified biomethane.

[2] Volvo_carbonfootprintreport.pdf (volvocars.com)  

This paper includes three key recommendations to ensure the deployment of biomethane in transport and consequently achieve a fast, cost effective shift to carbon neutral mobility in Europe by 2050. 

To achieve a climate-neutral EU by 2050 and the intermediate target of at least 55% net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, the Commission is preparing a revision of the CO2 emission performance standards for new passenger cars and vans as part of the ‘Fit for 55%’ package. National projections indicate that by 2030, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transport will decrease slightly but will nevertheless remain higher than 1990 levels. If these trends continue, the transport sector will fail to contribute to the reduction in emissions which is required in order to meet EU targets. To ensure the full decarbonisation of the transport sector, Europe needs to couple electrification with the deployment of all alternative fuels and technologies; the current standards, however, are placing obstacles in the way of a fast, cost effective shift to carbon neutral mobility in Europe.

Biomethane, which is the upgraded form of biogas, can be used as a renewable fuel, helping us achieve zero or even negative levels of CO2 emissions. It also enables the development of local circular economies because it can be generated using locally-produced organic residues. Additionally, digestate, a nutrient-rich by-product obtained during the production of this renewable fuel, can be used as biofertiliser to nurture our soils. Biomethane is available right here and now, across Europe, and its production levels can be easily increased to ensure ample future supply.

The need for further action to reduce emissions in the transport sector must be addressed without delay. The development of green electric mobility is advancing but this alone will not deliver the aimed for and much needed decarbonisation in time and cannot cover all areas of transport. In addition, as confirmed by the International Energy Agency (IEA), ‘the sustainability of electrification depends on broad decarbonisation of the power sector to actually reduce emissions at the system level’1. The use of other alternative green fuels alongside green electric mobility can speed up transport decarbonisation in the coming years and make sure the socio-economic benefits of this transition remain in the EU, including by supporting the development of a resilient car industry. Biomethane is a readily available and scalable resource that has an important role to play in ensuring that emissions reduction goals are met.

The Low Carbon and Circular Economy Business Action (LCBA) in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Colombia has launched two initiatives in order to connect European greentech providers with projects seeking energy efficiency, circular economy and low carbon solutions in Latin America.

Biogas and biomethane technologies to produce electricity and heat are still untapped in most of Latin American countries. According to IRENA, biomass and wind are the renewable energy sources with highest growing potential in the coming years, playing a key role for the decarbonization of the energy sector in the region.

Initial country assessment carried out by the LCBA team has identified technology needs and gaps in the field of biogas and biomethane that could be met by EU suppliers. Among main technological solutions demanded, it is worthy to highlight the following:
– Eengineering and installation services
– Biodigesters
– Inverters
– CHP motors
– Pumps, filters and membranes

In order to bridge those gaps, the LCBA Latam is launching the following initiatives to enhance business partnerships between both parties and support them through the process.
1) CALL FOR EXPRESSION OF INTEREST with 15 selected business opportunities, ready for European SMEs and Mid-Caps to apply. More info here.
2) FIRST MATCHMAKIGN EVENTS in Argentina, Brazil and Colombia to connect technology suppliers with local projects in virtual B2B meetings. Register here.

Let’s not miss the train!

2021 is the European Year of Rail, one of the most sustainable transport modes we have. Compared to other options, rail is performing very well: in the EU, transport is responsible for 25% of greenhouse gas emissions, but only 0.5% belong to rail transport. This makes it one of the most sustainable forms of passenger and freight transport. However, only about 7% of passengers and 11% of goods travel by rail.

During 2021, EU institutions will work to encourage its citizens and industries to look at the advantages of this sustainable transport mode as part of the Green Deal efforts to reduce transport emissions by 90%. The Commission’s legislative agenda will include proposals on a new rail industrial partnership, better links for rail with other modes of transport, and making freight transport more sustainable.

In a previous article, we analysed the contribution of biomethane (upgraded biogas) to decarbonize maritime transport. This month, we will look at the applications of BioNGV (bio-Natural Gas for Vehicles) in the railway world, particularly in passenger transport.

A recent study by Sia Partners proposes the implementation of TER (Express Regional Transport) sector based on a BioNGV fleet in France. This would support the deffosilisation of the TER sector. The current fleet of 930 TER railcars running on diesel would be replaced by a sustainable alternative. These railcars make it possible to serve the smallest service lines and isolated stations of the territory, where electrification would represent a significant cost.

The study has evaluated the feasibility of this transition and the impact of this change in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Between 33% and 70% of the fleet could be composed by BioNGV by 2030.  A shift of 61% of the fleet to BioNGV could lead to a reduction of 175,000 t / year of CO2 emissions. This is the equivalent to the amount of emissions produced by 38,000 passenger vehicles fueled with gasoline every year.

The development of sustainable transport brings environmental benefits but also social opportunities, notably green jobs for our bio-economy. According to the same study, the establishment of such sector in France would represent 15,200 long-term jobs by 2030. This figure considers the operation and maintenance of TER, but also on BioNGV refueling stations and biomethane production units. 2,100 non-sustainable jobs would also be generated over the year 2030 to finalize the implementation of the sector (transformation of TERs into BioNGV, construction of BioNGV refueling stations and construction of anaerobic digestion units). A total of 16,750 jobs would therefore be created by 2030.

Finally, the replacement of diesel trains by a BioNGV fleet would be more efficient in terms of costs. BioNGV are less expensive because they consume less fuel. Up to 55% of the costs related to fuel consumption can be avoided, which represents 65,000 euros per year for a TER traveling 100,000 km per year. According to Sia Partners, this increased profitability could support, indirectly, the maintenance of TER lines in rural communities in France.

Reaching the CO2 emissions reduction targets involves replacing fossil fuels in all transport modes, whether by converting the engines or renewing the fleet. This study proves, as other previously mentioned by the EBA, that the deployment of BioNGV with the adaptation of the already existing infrastructure appears to be a relevant short-term and low-cost solution to meet these objectives.

 

A cost-effective and swift decarbonisation of transport will be only feasible with the deployment of all renewable technologies to drastically reduce emissions by 90% in 2050.

This workshop will explore the opportunities of biomethane as one of the most climate-friendly fuels currently available to reach even below zero emissions mobility. Biomethane belongs to the most promising alternative fuels to decarbonise transport in a swift and cost-competitive way, leaving no one behind.

The current standards to measure CO2 emissions released in the transport sector promote the development of green electricity, but hinder the deployment of other sustainable fuels and vehicles. Lack of policy support will put at risk the scale-up of the industry and the achievement of climate goals.

This webinar will discuss how to overcome the existing barriers to unlock the potential of biomethane in transport and reach EU’s zero pollution ambition in this sector. It will also zoom into the opportunities of this green fuel to decarbonise different transport modes.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND THIS WEBINAR?

This event is held in the framework of the EU Green Week and is open to all audiences, including:

  • Biomethane producers.
  • Developers of cutting-edge technologies to reduce GHG emissions in transport.
  • Vehicle manufacturers.
  • Logistic companies heavily relying on transport solutions to deliver their goods.
  • EU, national, regional or local policymakers working on the decarbonization of the transport sector.
  • Other EU organisations advocating for the use of renewable and low carbon fuels in transport.
  • EU citizens, as transport users and consumers of goods delivered by different transport modes.

REGISTRATION 
Register for free via this link

PROGRAMME

Check the preliminary programme here

We are pleased to invite you to join to the online webinar ‘Enabling a Circular Economy: How to encourage a viable agricultural market for nutrients recovered from biowaste’ on 27 May during the EU Green Week. EBA is supporting the organisation of this event as partner of the Systemic project. 

Recovering valuable nutrients from biowaste (food waste, manure, sewage sludge, municipal waste etc.) and adapting them for reuse in agriculture, is fundamental part of shifting European agriculture away from its current linear model and an integral part of the New Circular Economy Action plan.

Experience from the H2020 SYSTEMIC project has shown that the major barrier to the uptake of nutrient recovery and reuse (NRR) is the lack of a market for the recovered products, thereby hindering the financial viability of nutrient recovery and reuse in Europe. 

Much progress has taken place over the past months to move this agenda forward, most notably the SAFEMANURE study and RENURE report linked to the Nitrates Directive, the Fertilising Products Regulation and most recently, the Green Deal.  And whilst there remains much work to do on both these policies, things are moving in the right direction. However, this will not be enough.

In this workshop, the H2020 project SYSTEMIC aims to bring together experts and practitioners in the field of nutrient recovery and reuse with policy makers to discuss what else needs to be done to create an enabling policy framework for the advancement of NRR in Europe.

SYSTEMIC receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation under Grant Agreement no. 730400

PROGRAMME

  • Oscar SCHOUMANS, Coordinator of SYSTEMIC, Wageningen University and Research
  • William NEALE, European Commission DG Environment, Advisor, Circular Economy and Green Growth
  • Jan HUITEMA, MEP, Renew Europe and Rapporteur for New Circular Economy Action Plan
  • European Commission DG Research and Innovation – Speaker TBC
  • Ludwig HERMANN, Member of SYSTEMIC, Proman
  • Moderation: Annabelle WILLIAMS, Member of SYSTEMIC, RISE Foundation.

REGISTRATON: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/enabling-the-circular-economy-for-recovered-nutrients-systemic-h2020-tickets-145199392291

WEBINAR DETAILS

Thursday 27th May: 1330-1530| Online

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
  • Current CO2 emission standards promote the development of green electricity but hinder the deployment of other sustainable fuels and vehicles.

  • Lack of policy support will put at risk the scale-up of the industry and the achievement of climate goals.

  • Biomethane belongs to the most promising alternative fuels to decarbonise transport in a swift and cost-competitive way, leaving no one behind.

 

Brussels 29 April 2021MEPs from different political groups[1] have signed a petition asking the European Commission to remove barriers to the deployment of sustainable fuels and technologies in transport by reviewing the current tailpipe approach to measure CO2 emissions. This, coupled with increased shares of green electricity, will ensure the swift decarbonisation of the transport sector. The development of clean mobility will be essential to reach climate-neutrality. The sector needs to reduce its emissions by 90% in 2050, while ensuring that the EU transport industry remains competitive and the transition to clean technologies leaves no one behind.

The EU needs cost-competitive fuels and technologies available right now to achieve this goal. Biomethane belongs to the most promising alternative fuels: it allows emissions reductions already in the short term and by 2030 and its production promotes the deployment of a circular bioeconomy. When well-to-wheel emissions are taken into account, biomethane is clearly among the least emitting transport fuels[2]. This approach considers the whole production and use cycles of the vehicles, compared to the current standard, which measures only tailpipe emissions.

The adoption of a well-to-wheel approach would ensure the recognition of the multiple environmental benefits of biomethane as transport fuel. The ‘EU Strategy for Energy System Integration’ announced last year ‘opportunities for further targeted support to accelerate the development of the market for biofuels and biogases’. However, considering only tailpipe emissions to measure the environmental impact of transport vehicles will hinder the development of sustainable fuels, rather than support it. Besides, until now, the tailpipe approach has not led to a reduction of transport emissions.

The tailpipe approach measures only part of the emissions produced, compared to a well-to-wheel approach that provides an estimation of the emissions produced over the entire lifetime of a vehicle. Vehicle manufacturers are consequently discouraged by the current legislation from developing and offering cars and vans with Internal Combustion Engines (ICE’s), which are currently the most common technology. Instead of stopping ICE’s production, they could keep the technology and simply replace diesel or petrol with biomethane. Furthermore, this legislation makes it difficult for those Member States who drive truly technology-neutral transport policies, to support sustainable fuels as a part of the future fuel mix.

To ensure a truly energy sector integration, the deployment of renewable electricity should be coupled with the scale-up of sustainable fuels. E-mobility and general electrification of our societies will increase rapidly in Europe over the next decades, but we must not forget that electricity, like gas, is only environmentally friendly when it comes from renewable sources. Political decisions should encourage the deployment and growth of all clean technologies and this can only be ensured with a technology-neutral mindset.

One of the big advantages of biomethane mobility is the current availability of the necessary infrastructure to enable a cost-competitive and swift deployment of sustainable vehicles and fuels without the need for significant investments. The share of biomethane in the gas mix of the EU transport sector is increasing all around Europe and represents today the 18% of the gas mix, according to NGVA Europe, reaching 50% in Germany, 59% in Finland and even 90% in the Netherlands and 95% in Sweden.      

The European production of biogas and its upgraded form, biomethane, is expected to at least double by 2030, growing from nearly 200 TWh today to around 370-390 TWh, according to different studies[3]. If we deploy 117 TWh in the transport sector and the full gas fleet consumption being estimated to be around 300 TWh, the share of biomethane in the gas mix of the transport sector could increase to around 40%. This would create significant emission reductions already by 2030.

The European Commission is expected to propose in June a revision of the CO2 standards for cars and vans. The MEPs who have co-signed this petition call on the EU Executive body for considering emissions along the whole well-to-wheel chain with a revision of critical pieces of EU legislation that will enable full deployment of sustainable fuels and vehicles: CO2 emission standards for new vehicles, Taxonomy on Sustainable Finance and Clean Vehicles Directive.

 

MEP Jakop Dalunde, (Sweden – Greens/EFA group and Member of the Transport Committee): “We will not achieve carbon-neutrality without the decarbonisation of the transport sector. Full deployment of all sustainable fuels and technologies, including biomethane, is needed to meet the growing demand for renewable and fossil free solutions.”

MEP Heidi Hautala, (Finland – Greens/EFA group): “Biomethane must be recognized as one important means to reach EU’s ambitious 2030 climate targets in transport. Its emissions are very low when measured over the whole lifecycle, from well-to-wheel. Seen in the context of circular economy biomethane gives even more benefits when produced from waste or residues. We call on the EU Commission to stop punishing biomethane and to adopt a truly technology neutral approach.”

MEP Henna Virkkunen (Finland – EPP group and Member of the Transport Committee): “We must actively combine all the possible alternatives available for cutting transport emissions. Renewable biofuels are one of the readily deployable alternatives, which can be combined with existing car fleet. Different types of sustainable biofuels have an important role to play especially in road transport in the short and medium term.”

 

 

[1] List of MEPs signing the petition: Franc Bogovič, European People’s Party / Slovenia; Jakop Dalunde, Greens / Sweden; Heidi Hautala, Greens / Finland; Pär Holmgren, Greens / Sweden; Elsi Katainen, Renew Europe / Finland; Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, S&D Group / Finland; Mauri Pekkarinen, Renew Europe / Finland; Anne Sander, European People’s Party / France; Massimiliano Salini, EPP/Italy; Henna Virkkunen, European People’s Party / Finland; Emma Wiesner, Renew Europe / Sweden.

[2] https://www.europeanbiogas.eu/acknowledging-the-full-potential-of-biomethane-as-transport-fuel/

[3] https://www.europeanbiogas.eu/eba-statistical-report-2020/

 

However, the criteria hinder the deployment of biomethane in transport and buildings

  • The EU Taxonomy recognises anaerobic digestion (AD) and the integration of biomethane in gas grids as sustainable activities.

  • The criteria adopted by the EU Taxonomy will put the use of biomethane in the transport sector at stake.

  • The new regulation puts too strict restrictions on the use of renewable gas in building heating systems.

Brussels 22 April 2021The EBA welcomes the adoption of the EU Taxonomy yesterday by the European Commission as a means to channel investments towards sustainable activities across the European Union. The decision to label the production of biogas from anaerobic digestion (AD) as a low-carbon activity recognizes its valuable contribution to climate-neutrality, even though the chosen criteria are not fully aligned with the Renewable Energy Directive (RED). Biogas production enables greenhouse gas emissions savings in agriculture and waste management, as acknowledged by the Methane Strategy released last October.

The regulation also supports the role of biogas and biomethane in providing renewable heat and power and recognises the need to  integrate “low-carbon gases”, including biomethane, in existing natural gas grids. This sends a positive signal to investors and operators across the whole energy value chain for further deployment of biogas and biomethane in the coming years.

However, the criteria adopted by the EU Taxonomy will put the use of biomethane in the transport sector at stake. The manufacture and operation of some vehicles using biomethane is included in the regulation, for instance bi-mode trains and coastal vessels. Yet in most cases, the new regulation confirms the tailpipe approach to measure CO2 emissions and therefore fails to recognize the climate benefits of biomethane (either compressed or liquified). On the basis of a lifecycle analysis (LCA), BioCNG and BioLNG can reduce emissions by more than 100%[1]. Vehicles could use locally produced biomethane, contributing to a circular economy and creating new business and job opportunities for farmers, agro-industries, waste treatment operators and local population. This decision is inconsistent with the Taxonomy Regulation (articles 9 and 10), as well as with the overall objectives of the EU Green Deal (achieving climate-neutrality and moving towards an efficient circular economy).

Available technologies and market needs point to biomethane as the best available solution right now to decarbonise multiple transport modes and segments. Earmarking green investments only for zero emission vehicles, according to a tailpipe approach, will strongly penalize the scale-up of sustainable solutions, such as biomethane, in road and maritime transport, as well as in non-electrified segments of the rail network. It will also jeopardize the development of low-emission fleets in low-density areas, where electric and hydrogen vehicles are not the most appropriate.

The EU Taxonomy puts too strict restrictions on the use of renewable gas in building heating systems and fails to identify highly efficient gas appliances and hybrid heat pumps as sustainable assets. Yet investments in gas and hybrid heating appliances can be beneficial for the energy system and energy consumers. On the one hand, by bringing flexibility and security of supply. On the other hand, by being fit for different building types and climate zones while remaining affordable for all[2].

The EBA calls for higher transparency in the elaboration of the next batch of the EU Taxonomy by the European Commission and the Platform of Sustainable Finance, expected to be adopted by the end of the year. This new batch will be also critical for the biogas and biomethane sector, as it will focus on four other environmental objectives, including the transition towards a circular economy. The scientific references used in the assessment, and explanations of the rationale for the criteria and thresholds of each activity should be accessible for consultation.

[1] JEC, The Well-To-Wheels report v5, 2020, https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/publication/eur-scientific-and-technical-research-reports/jec-well-tank-report-v5

[3] Hybrid Heating Europe, Vision Paper, March 2021, https://hybridheatingeurope.eu/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/hhe_vision-paper_final.pdf

Energy-intensive industries (EII’s) are at the core of European industries and encompass steel, paper or food industry, among others. The role of these industries is crucial for our economy, as they are embedded in many strategic value chains and supply intermediate products to other sectors. Yet, they are heavily dependent on fossil fuels and significantly contribute to increase GHG emissions. The deffosilisation of EII’s is a key driving force for reaching EU climate targets and developing a sustainable bioeconomy in Europe.

The challenge is to lower emissions while keeping industry competitive. But every challenge comes with an opportunity, in this case, position our industry to exploit the huge potential for renewable technologies and services. Biogas is part of this ample range of opportunities for our industry. It provides solutions for industrial waste treatment, replacement of fossil fuels in industrial energy uses and production of alternative raw materials for the chemical industry.

Biogas production from industrial waste streams that cannot be re-used or recycled and have no other applications is well in line with the resource efficiency efforts promoted by the EU. The food industry is a good example for this. In beverage production, for instance, the stillage remaining after distillation can be recycled to produce biogas. Thus, the problems with the treatment of the residual stillage are solved by conversion into renewable energy. The production of green gas from sludge is also an optimal solution for the paper industry.

Additionally, biogas production allows energy-intensive industries to cut energy costs and replace fossil fuels. These industries make up more than half of EU’s energy consumption[1]. Among the different energy uses, heat makes up two-thirds of global industrial energy demand. It also constitutes most of the direct industrial CO2 emitted each year, as the vast majority of industrial heat originates from fossil-fuel combustion[2]. If we take again the example of beverage production, calculations show that in some cases, stillage utilization as biogas can cover almost the whole energy demand for heating the distillation process[3]. In the steel industry, biomass gasification is also an attractive option to replace the use of fossil fuels in heat-intense processes.

A less explored industrial application of biogas is the replacement of current fossil based raw materials  for the chemical industry to produce plastics, solvents, and synthetic fuels. As all other industries, the chemical industry will need to embrace sustainability and increasingly rely on alternative materials in the coming years. This forward-looking solution is fully aligned with the principles of an efficient circular economy.

Policy support for the further deployment of biogas, both for anaerobic digestion and biomass gasification, and its multiple industrial applications is detrimental to unlock their full potential. This support will contribute to shape a positive long-term outlook that provides investment security for the various stakeholders involved. Innovation and cross-sectoral collaboration are other driving forces of the green transition by stimulating the implementation of cutting-edge technologies and the development of new synergies and industrial ecosystems.

 

[1] https://ec.europa.eu/growth/industry/policy/energy-intensive-industries_en

[2] https://www.iea.org/commentaries/clean-and-efficient-heat-for-industry

[3] https://www.intechopen.com/books/biorefinery-concepts-energy-and-products/biogas-as-a-source-of-energy-and-chemicals.

(more…)

Best option to cut emissions from shipping

Maritime transport carries 80 % of the world’s goods. However, vessels release emissions that are dangerous for the environment and human health (SOx and Nox) and contribute significantly to global warming (CO2). In the EU, maritime transport was responsible for over 138 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2018. This represents 3.7 % of total EU emissions. With the shipping sector projected to grow further, the level of GHG emissions could even double by 2050[1]. A major transformation of the sector is needed to reverse this trend.

(more…)

Speeding-up climate-neutrality with renewable gas

The European Biogas Conference 2021 will take place from 26 to 27 October at the  The EGG Convention Center, in Brussels. We have many updates to share with you!


Check the updates!


Why should you attend this conference?

Renewable gases are essential for the defossilisation of the energy sector and the realisation of the EU 2030 climate targets. The EU Green Deal has set the framework for the energy transition and now is the time to turn these goals into reality. The global challenges we are facing can be turned into an opportunity to build future resilience based on sustainability. Through a green recovery, the EU will be able to boost innovation, undertake the restructuring of critical sectors and accelerate the implementation of environmental plans and projects.

Constructive dialogue and knowledge-exchange is critical in this crucial moment. The European Biogas Conference will provide this opportunity to discuss some of the most relevant topics for our industry:

  • What is the role of biomethane in these future energy systems?
  • How can we accelerate the ramp-up of biomethane production enabling the industry to become a key actor in this transition?
  • How can biogas stimulate rural development and help us build a more sustainable and competitive farming sector?
  • What is needed to unlock the immense potential of biogas in developing circular cities and regions?

3 reasons to join us…

We have prepared an intensive programme with 8 different sessions and over 40 speakers, multiple networking opportunities, plus an optional Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony that will bring you:

  • 1st hand information on the latest developments of biogas and biomethane in all EU territories.
  • Discussions with high-level stakeholders on the legislative support that our sector will need from EU policy-makers to unlock the potential of biogas and biomethane in the energy transition.
  • Exchange of knowledge and expertise on current and future renewable gas trends.

Who will be there?

  • High-level stakeholders from the renewable gas industry.
  • Representatives from key areas for the development of our industry, including the waste management and agrobusiness sectors.
  • Researchers and academia working on innovative renewable gas technologies to develop our industry.
  • Influential policy-makers for our sector in Europe.

Biogas is our priority but your safety goes first!

The conference is planned as a physical event to ensure high-quality discussions and exchange between all participants. We are committed to strictly respect all relevant measures to ensure the safety of conference attendees and comply with the instructions from the competent institutions. Check our sanitary measures to ensure you have a safe, enjoyable event.

COVID Certificate and travelling requirements

COVID 19 measures at EBA Conference: all attendees will be required to provide an EU Digital COVID Certificate before entering the convention center. Check the official website of the European Commission to learn how to get the certificate from your national health authority. If you plan to travel to Belgium, you are required to fill in a Passenger Locator Form in the 48 hours before your arrival in Belgium. Fill in the electronic form. Additional conditions might apply for passengers from outside the EU. At present, vaccinated passengers entering Belgium from outside the EU need to do a test and quarantine until getting the result upon arrival in Belgium even if they stay less than 48 hours.


Sponsors

Our Gold Sponsors: bmp greengas, SHV Energy

Our Silver Sponsors: Biothane – Veolia, BayoTech

Our Bronze Sponsors: SeekOps, IES Biogas, APROVIS

Media partners

Take a glance at the Biogas Conference 2021!

The 6th Web Seminar Series focuses on two important aspects: Biomethane & Waste treatment. The webinar will start with an introduction on biomethane and its use as CNG or LNG from a European perspective. This will be followed by practical lessons presentation of bio methane production and use in Argentina. The second section will discuss ‘Biowaste to Biogas’ technologies. 

TOPICS & SPEAKERS

  • Bio methane: CNG and LNG – Alexey Mozgovoy (German Biogas Association – FvB)
  • Bio methane Production & Use in Argentina – Ing. Nicolas Marinelli; (Tecnored Energia)
  • Biowaste to Biogas Technologies – Marion Melix; (Chargée de Mission Digestats at ATEE Club Biogaz)
  • Moderated by: Harmen Dekker (Director, EBA)

WEB SEMINAR DETAILS

  • 14 January 2021
  • 13:00-14.45 (CET)
  • Online event

REGISTRATION
Participation in this seminar is free of charge but you will need to register in order to get your access credentials and follow the web seminar via GoToMeeting. Please register via this link.

CONTACT
Sinshaw Alemu at sinshaw.alemu@iceaddis.com

ABOUT DIBICOO
www.dibicoo.org 

  • New Gas for Climate report shows market overviews and trends related to the scale-up of biomethane and green and blue hydrogen in Europe.

  • Biomethane is scaling up rapidly at decreasing costs. A wave of blue and green hydrogen projects is expected within the coming years.

  • 15% growth in grid-transported biomethane in 2018 alone, with now 65% of biomethane produced from biowaste and bio-residues.

Brussels, 16 December 2020 – A new report published by the Gas for Climate consortium launched today. This market state and trends report provides a unique review of current biomethane and green and blue hydrogen markets in Europe. The report, developed by Guidehouse, describes key market trends and highlights leading project examples.

Biomethane production is scaling up rapidly, with an increased share of biowaste and bio-residues as feedstock, while production costs are starting to decrease, and grid injection levels are increasing. Many green and blue hydrogen projects are described in the report. These projects focus on scaling up hydrogen demand in new industrial sectors, exploring hydrogen use in heavy transport, or aim to decarbonise existing grey hydrogen demand. The report also highlights how existing gas infrastructure is increasingly being used to transport biomethane and is being prepared to transport hydrogen. Several showcase projects focus on enabling renewable and low-carbon gas transport; this is significant because it shows how gas infrastructure can accelerate the scale-up of hydrogen and biomethane.

All these developments provide a solid basis to achieve the EU 2030 decarbonisation target and show that industry is ready to scale up biomethane and hydrogen. Regulatory certainty would help to accelerate ongoing developments and spur investments. In January 2021, Gas for Climate will publish a policy paper which calls for a mandatory renewable gas target. Such a target would further boost the identified trends that are needed to stay on track for the decarbonisation of the European energy system.

  • Visit the interactive Market State and Trends report and download the full report here: MSTreport.gasforclimate2050.eu

This report provides a unique review of current biomethane and green and blue hydrogen markets in Europe. The report, developed by Guidehouse for the Gas for Climate consortium, describes key market trends and highlights leading project examples.

Biomethane production is scaling up rapidly, with an increased share of biowaste and bio-residues as feedstock, while production costs are starting to decrease, and grid injection levels are increasing. Many green and blue hydrogen projects are described in the report. These projects focus on scaling up hydrogen demand in new industrial sectors, exploring hydrogen use in heavy transport, or aim to decarbonise existing grey hydrogen demand. The report also highlights how existing gas infrastructure is increasingly being used to transport biomethane and is being prepared to transport hydrogen. Several showcase projects focus on enabling renewable and low-carbon gas transport; this is significant because it shows how gas infrastructure can accelerate the scale-up of hydrogen and biomethane.

The strategy is a major setback for the vital decarbonisation of transport at an acceptable cost

  • Lack of support to renewable fuels will jeopardise transport decarbonisation and hamper climate-neutrality by 2050.

  • An accurate zero-emissions approach to mobility should consider the carbon footprint of the vehicles across their overall lifecycle.

  • Supporting expensive technologies that will not be affordable for many consumers any time soon will prevent equal access to clean mobility for all EU citizens.

Brussels, 9 December 2020The new Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy will not help the EU deliver the critical decarbonisation of transport. The transport sector releases today 20% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. A cost-effective and swift decarbonisation will be only feasible with the deployment of all renewable energies and technologies alike. In the clean mobility equation, all renewable alternative fuels and their corresponding technologies and infrastructures need equal support to drastically reduce emissions by 90% in 2050.

Overlooking the essential role of advanced biofuels in driving a swift decarbonisation of transport, will hamper the development of renewable fuels. This will put at risk one of the industries that is helping Europe reach climate-neutrality by 2050. It will also put an unnecessary burden on the future availability of green electricity to decarbonise the EU economy. Greening current electricity consumption is already a challenge. Instead, we could pick the low-hanging fruits by supporting alternatives already available. Finally, the current proposal will prevent access to affordable clean mobility for all Europeans, as cost-competitive options differing from renewable fuels will not be available any time soon. 

The decarbonisation of transport is key for the success of the EU Green Deal. The Mobility Strategy should avoid any contradictions with other core policies of this plan to make the EU economy sustainable and reach climate-neutrality. It must be aligned with the implementation of a smart sector integration, as well as with the efforts to find circular and local solutions for decarbonisation.

Despite claiming for a technology-neutral approach to decarbonisation, the Strategy clearly outlines electricity and hydrogen as priority option to decarbonise mobility. In 2018, only 33% of EU electricity came from renewable energy. If the source of energy to power electric vehicles does not come from renewable sources, their CO2 emissions will be much higher. Hydrogen represents today, according to the European Commission, a modest fraction of the global and EU energy mix and is still largely produced from fossil fuels. It is far from certain that green electricity and hydrogen mobility will be able to answer to the different usages at an acceptable cost and ad-hoc servicing level in the long term.[1]

Renewable and low-carbon fuels, such as biomethane, are already available and fit for use within the existing transport infrastructure[2]. Biomethane is already being used in light passenger vehicles as bio-CNG, but also in heavy transport as bio-LNG and bio-CNG. Bio-LNG is one of the very few viable options to decarbonise shipping. In rail transport, locomotives can replace the use of diesel by bio-CNG or bio-LNG. In addition, these renewable fuels are already complying with the strict criteria under the EU Renewable Energy Directive ensuring they are produced sustainably. In line with a circular economy approach, biomethane is additionally contributing to reduce emissions from waste management and agriculture. Those sectors are two major sources of greenhouse gas emissions, as recognised by the EU Methane Strategy presented last October. Europe should be proud of the merits of its local biomethane production.

ICE engines fuelled with biomethane have similar or even lower greenhouse gas emissions footprint than vehicles powered by green electricity. Recently, EBA collected 11 comparative studies analysing transport emissions per type of fuel, which prove that biomethane is clearly one of the most climate-friendly fuel options able to reach even below zero levels of CO2 emissions. However, these benefits are not accounted for in the tailpipe approach. The EU needs an accurate life-cycle approach to promote only no-regret options.

Supporting the higher deployment of renewable fuels will also contribute to make all transport modes more sustainable, available to European citizens in all geographies and at all income levels, leaving no one behind. This intention of the Commission to ‘make this new mobility affordable and accessible in all regions and for all passengers’ is clearly in contradiction with the push for electricity and hydrogen only which will not be affordable to all Europeans at any time soon.

 

[1] ‘A hydrogen strategy for a climate-neutral Europe’ European Commission, July 2020

[2]BioLNG in Transport: Making Climate Neutrality a Reality’ EBA, GiE, NGVA and SEA-LNG, November 2020

[3]Review and Meta-Analysis of EVs: Embodied Emissions and Environmental Breakeven’ Dillman et AL, September 2020

 

In the perspective of the upcoming Smart Sustainable Mobility Strategy and revision of multiple important European transport laws, four associations – EBA, GIE, NGVA Europe and SEA-LNG – decided to join forces to demonstrate the great potential of bioLNG to decarbonise heavy-duty transport and shipping in a fast and cost effective way.

This joint White Paper provides with key facts and figures on several dimensions covering the bioLNG value chain, from production to infrastructure and usage. It aims at demonstrating the concrete benefits of using bioLNG as a fuel for heavy-duty transport and shipping, which are sectors where greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions are hard to cut. It further illustrates how bioLNG can help the European Union to reach its 2030 climate targets and become climate neutral by 2050.

The paper formulates key policy recommendations for European policy makers to consider when drafting future strategies and legislation to decarbonise transports.

Today, the European Biogas Association (EBA), Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE), the Natural & bio Gas Vehicle Association (NGVA Europe) and SEA-LNG published a joint paper, which demonstrates the concrete benefits of using BioLNG to decarbonise hard to abate transport sectors through provision of the latest facts and figures.

 

Brussels, 23 November 2020 – Ahead of the upcoming Smart Sustainable Mobility Strategy which will be published by the European Commission in December, the paper calls upon the European Institutions to recognise the potential for BioLNG to meet greenhouse gas (GHG) targets, and continue to acknowledge the benefits available today of LNG and BioLNG in maritime and road transport to reduce GHG as well as local pollution emissions harmful to the heath of EU citizens.

The joint paper highlights the true potential for BioLNG to decarbonise heavy-duty transport and shipping in a fast and cost-effective way. It illustrates how BioLNG can help the EU reach its 2030 climate targets and become climate neutral by 2050. Since the BioLNG production process captures carbon, the BioLNG value chain generates negative carbon emissions. Hence, by running EU trucks on 100% BioLNG, it is possible to remove CO2 emissions from the atmosphere.

The EU production of BioLNG is set to increase tenfold by 2030. EU LNG heavy-duty transport is expected to reach 280.000 units in the same period. Using a 40% BioLNG mix with LNG will help reduce the CO2 emissions from those trucks by 55%. This can be achieved using only 10% (40TWh) of Europe’s total BioLNG production (380TWh). In the shipping sector, 50% of large container vessel orders today are LNG fuelled or ready for conversion to LNG. 20% of BioLNG mix in maritime transport would reduce CO2 emissions by up to 34%. Just last week, the world’s largest LNG bunkering operation to date was completed in Rotterdam supplying 17,300 cubic metres of LNG to a French 23,000 TEU Ultra-Large Container Vessel, 13% of which was BioLNG.

BioLNG can be transported using the existing LNG infrastructure with no further technological adaptations or additional costs. For this reason, the support of LNG infrastructure is fundamental to ensure the deployment of Bio-LNG in the coming years. Today, the EU has 53 ports where LNG bunkering is available and over 330 filling LNG stations. This number will increase exponentially in the coming years. In the case of LNG stations, it will be six times bigger, reaching 2.000 LNG stations by 2030. The use of the current infrastructure also boosts cross-border trade of BioLNG in Europe.

Harmen Dekker, Director of the European Biogas Association stressed: “BioLNG is available today and scalable for tomorrow. It is a sustainable and cost competitive carbon neutral fuel if we take into account all positive externalities of the Bio-LNG value chain. To ensure maximum production potential and maximum benefit for EU consumers, the new revision of the EU Renewable Energy Directive should integrate more feedstocks such as residues which cannot be used for other purposes and secondary crops. The EU must also create a single market for biomethane and BioLNG by facilitating trading of volumes and certificates across EU borders free of technological or political barriers.”

Roxana Caliminte, Deputy Secretary General, Gas Infrastructure Europe added: The infrastructure we use today for LNG can be used tomorrow for BioLNG with little or no modifications. There are no stranded assets – only scale up effects for climate-neutral BioLNG. If we want to be successful in cleaning up transport, it will be crucial that the EU recognizes the vital role of LNG infrastructure in the Smart and Sustainable Mobility Strategy.”

Andrea Gerini, Secretary General of NGVA Europe emphasised: “By integrating the fuel dimension and recognizing the benefits of gas in transport into files like the Smart Mobility Strategy and the Revision of the CO₂ Emission Performance Standards Regulation, the EU will enable and stimulate the decarbonisation effect of BioLNG. This is thanks to its already existing and rapidly growing vehicle fleet, and available fuelling infrastructure.”

Steve Esau, General Manager, SEA-LNG commented: “BioLNG provides a proven and commercially viable way of incrementally decarbonising the European shipping industry using existing vessels and existing LNG infrastructure. We continue to advocate for regulators to adopt a goal-based approach founded on technology openness, and guarantee a true level playing field between different mobility solutions. Whether this is on a well-to-wheel or well-to-wake basis.”

More information:

  • EBA welcomes the holistic approach of the Methane Strategy to accelerate the reduction of methane emissions and achieve climate-neutrality by 2050.

  • The new strategy acknowledges the high potential of biogas to reduce methane emissions in agriculture and boost rural development.

  • Biogas and biomethane are also an essential instrument to reduce methane emissions from waste and help the EU make the shift towards a truly circular economy.

 

Brussels, 14 October 2020 – Biogas and biomethane industries are strongly committed with the European Commission proposal to accelerate the reduction of methane emissions. The Methane Strategy is a fundamental step to ensure this reduction and achieve climate-neutrality by 2050. According to the EU Executive body, 53% of emissions caused by human activity come from agriculture, followed by waste (26%).

The holistic approach of the new strategy recognises the potential of biogas and biomethane to reduce methane emissions from agriculture, which causes more than half of EU methane emissions. These emissions are avoided when methane emitting feedstock, such as manure from animal farming and biowaste, are brought to the closed and controlled environment of a biogas plant. In the biogas production facility, methane is captured and utilised instead of being naturally released into the atmosphere during manure storage. The support for biogas production from agricultural waste, as proposed in the Methane Strategy, is a positive step to recognise the role of our sector as a booster of rural development. It is also an excellent example of sector integration in which the synergies between agriculture and renewable gas production are fully exploited.

Biogas and biomethane can also help reduce emissions from waste, the second biggest source of methane emissions in the EU. As of 2023, member states are obliged to implement separate collection of bio-waste. One of the best available recycling options for bio-waste is anaerobic digestion (AD) for biogas production. This technique delivers better environmental and climate outcomes when compared to disposal (incineration and landfill). The reduction of waste and the continual valorisation of resources are the core principles of an efficient circular economy, one of the key pillars of the EU Green Deal. Municipal solid waste and wastewater produced in our cities or waste generated by our industries can be turned into a new resource and generate renewable energy. The Commission proposal to consider further research on waste to biomethane technologies is a positive instrument to promote further waste valorisation.

The cross-sectoral perspective adopted by the Methane Strategy enhances the high potential of biogas and biomethane to reduce methane emissions in non-energy sectors. This is a key opportunity for the further scale-up of biogas and biomethane industries. The sector is committed to EU climate-neutrality by 2050. The full recognition of its potential at EU level will be essential to help these industries grow and reach the forecasted production shares of at least 39 bcm of natural gas equivalent (380 TWh) by 2030 and 120 bcm (1170 TWh) by 2050. 

According to Susanna Pflüger, Secretary General of the EBA, “The Methane Strategy shows that biogas and biomethane are a key part of the solution to reduce methane emissions in the agricultural and waste management sectors. Biogas and biomethane can turn the re-use of waste into an opportunity, being a source of rural development and shaping our circular economy .”

 

SWEN Capital Partners, a benchmark player in sustainable private equity investment and member of  the EBA, has announced the final closing of its impact fund SWEN Impact Fund for Transition (SWIFT), Europe’s first infrastructure fund dedicated to renewable gases. The fund raised €175 million, greatly exceeding its target amount of €120 million.

SWEN Impact Fund for Transition (SWIFT) is SWEN Capital Partners’ first impact fund and testament to the firm’s efforts to achieve its goals by developing its conviction-based management activities. The fund invests directly in methanation, renewable hydrogen, and gas and LNG refuelling infrastructure for the shipping and overland transportation sector.

It is managed by a team of six specialising in the gas industry and infrastructure finance; it is the first of its kind in Europe and aspires to step up investment in the renewable gas industry. Gas accounts for a quarter of France’s energy consumption so it is essential to decarbonise the industry if the country is to achieve a successful energy transition, especially as only 1% of the gas consumed in France currently comes from renewable sources.

SWIFT has made its first investments in methanation units, which are being developed as part of a co-investment programme with farmers; they will be used to produce the renewable energy needed in farming areas while also boosting the economy and local employment. They will recycle agricultural waste by transforming it into renewable gas and fertiliser (digestate), which the farmers will then be able to use. These programmes promote the circular economy by recycling underutilised waste, and they also provide farmers with a significant additional source of income. Once produced, the gas is injected into the natural gas network and thus becomes available to all gas consumers.

The fund has already made 5 direct investments in France and Belgium, primarily in methanation units but also in gas distribution units. Some 15 exclusive partnership agreements have also been signed in France, Italy, Belgium and the UK.

SWIFT is a true reflection of SWEN CP’s values; by developing the fund, the firm also wanted to offer investors an opportunity to measure the fund’s impact and link its rate of return with its non-financial performance. So SWEN CP’s rate of return is partly dependent on targets being met, based on the following four key metrics:

  • Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
  • Job creation
  • Reduction in the amount of chemical fertiliser used by farmers
  • Volume of treated waste

Olivier AUBERT, Investment Director and SWIFT fund manager at SWEN Capital Partners: “We strongly believe that it is crucial to develop renewable gas (biomethane and green hydrogen) capabilities in response to the issues raised by climate change. By investing directly in the regions, SWIFT is thus creating a virtuous cycle for investors, local project developers and the environment”.

“The fact that our first renewable gas fund has proved so popular with investors shows that we are taking the right approach, combining private equity and an increasingly firm commitment to sustainable finance. SWIFT is the first building block of our new conviction-based direct investment strategy geared towards turning SWEN Capital Partners into one of Europe’s leading private equity impact investment firms” adds Jérôme DELMAS, CEO and co-founder of SWEN Capital Partners.

 

About SWEN Capital Partners

SWEN Capital Partners is a benchmark player in the field of sustainable private equity investment, with over €5.6 billion of assets under management in Europe and strong investment convictions shared by the whole team and factored into the services it offers. The investment firm is owned by the OFI Group (with MACIF and Matmut as its core shareholders), ARKEA and its employees. For the past 10 years or so, it has placed ESG and Climate issues at the very heart of its approach to investment and offers its clients a range of innovative and sustainable investment solutions. SWEN Capital Partners provides support for entrepreneurs and its partners as they work to improve their impact and create sustainable value in a combined effort to achieve a low-carbon economy.

 

The European Biogas Association (EBA) is looking for a motivated professional with 1-3 year experience in the communication field to join our team on a full time basis as of January 2021.

 

Tasks & Responsibilities

The candidate will assist the communications manager in implementing the marketing, communication, and public relations strategy aimed at strengthening EBA mission and vision. He/she will bring fresh ideas to the table to engage with EBA key target audiences through a variety of channels and ensure large visibility of EBA communication actions. The candidate will also coordinate communication activities with the technical and policy teams. His/her main responsibilities will be:

  • Assisting in the production and dissemination of content including newsletter articles, press releases, reports and promotional materials.
  • Updating EBA website and managing social media with fresh and interactive content.
  • Supporting the organisation and promotion of EBA events and campaigns.
  • Supporting EBA internal communication activities (intranet, working groups, etc).
  • Performing communication tasks for EU projects.

Essential Skills & Qualities

  • Degree in Communications/Marketing Communications.
  • Excellent command of English, any other language is a definite plus.
  • Knowledge of CMS, desktop publishing software and marketing platforms (WordPress, InDesign, Mailchimp).
  • Savvy of new developments in public relations/social media.
  • Capable networker with confidence and fluency to communicate with external audiences.
  • Multitasker, quick-learner and ready to work in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to prioritise and work under pressure and towards tight deadlines.
  • Team player, proactive, self-starter.
  • The candidate will have to demonstrate that he/she has the right to live and work in Belgium.

What would be considered a definite plus?

  • Knowledge of the renewable energy sector.
  • Knowledge of multi-social posting programs such as Hootsuite.
  • Basic knowledge of shooting photos/videos, audio recording and editing.
  • Previous communication experience in EU projects.

We offer

  • A stimulating and dynamic international environment.
  • Hands-on experience on communication for an EU association.
  • Opportunities to develop skills and understanding of the fast-moving EU energy sector.
  • Expertise about the EU’s energy & climate policy.
  • A remuneration package suited to your experience.

How to apply?

Please send your CV (no Europass format) and cover letter (max. 2 pages) to Vinciane Perot (perot@europeanbiogas.eu) by 31 October with the subject ‘YOUR NAME – EBA Communications Officer’.

Interviews will take place remotely during the second half of November.

Please consider that only the selected CVs will be notified for further process and interview.

The appointed Company Advisory Board (CAB) includes 8 experts with an extensive career within the gas and renewable has sector. During their 3-year mandate (2020-2023) they will play a pivotal role in advising the best ways to reach the forecasted potential for biogas and biomethane in the coming years: 39 bcm of natural gas equivalent by 2030 and 120 bcm by 2050. They will also work on strengthening the visibility of the sector as a sustainable and cost-competitive alternative for decarbonisation and steer the political positioning of the EBA.

 

The EBA conference held earlier this month confirmed the huge potential of the sector in the realisation of the EU Green Deal. This is one of the current core strategies of the EU Executive aimed at achieving the ambitious reduction target of 55% by 2030 and reaching climate neutrality by 2050. The production of biogas and biomethane can be used to replace fossil fuels and reduce GHG emissions released by many sectors, including transport, buildings or energy-intensive industries. It can also help reduce organic waste in cities and develop a sustainable model of agriculture in local areas, in line with the principles of an efficient circular economy.

The EBA has been growing rapidly in the past year and has strengthened its position as a key stakeholder in the discussions to decarbonise the EU economy. The association is now representing the interests of 38 national associations across Europe and 90 companies and research institutes operating in EU territories. EBA represents directly and indirectly over 7,000 stakeholders in Europe.

The Company Advisory Board (CAB) is an official body to the EBA and is comprised of voluntary members representing the company members within the EBA. The overarching objective of the CAB is to provide strategic political advice to the secretariat and the executive board to steer the political advocacy and policy priorities. 3 members of the CAB will officially represent this body at the EBA Executive Board.

  • Elected Company Advisory Board of the EBA (2020-2030): Olivier Aubert, SWEN Capital; Olivier Guerrini, TOTAL; Marta Kamola-Martines, ENGIE; Gabor Sonkoly, Landwärme; Marco Mazzero, IES Biogas; Coen Meijers, DMT; Michael Niederbacher, TerraX; Jonas Svendsen, Nature Energy.
  • Representatives of the CAB at the EBA Executive Board: Michael Niederbacher, Gabor Sonkoly and Coen Meijers.
  • INFOGRAPHIC EBA CAB
  • PICTURES AND BIOS OF THE CAB
  • FULL PRESS RELEASE

The EU Green Deal is a great opportunity to enable the direct scale-up of biomethane, an industry with huge available potential to deploy renewable gases, help the development of rural economies and drive an efficient circular economy. Over 200 participants and more than 30 speakers, including high-level industry representatives, policy-makers, researchers and journalists, attended the 2020 edition of the European Biogas Conference ‘Green Gas for a Green Deal’. 4 morning sessions showcased the opportunities and challenges of the renewable gas sector and the expectations for the coming years.

 

Worldwide, the biogas sector has potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions up to 12%. According to the IEA outlook for biomethane released earlier this year and presented at the conference, biogas and biomethane will play a key role in a low carbon energy transition, especially in hard to abate sectors, and as a means of clean cooking in developing economies. IEA estimations depict a positive scenario with an enormous untapped resource potential to scale up biogas and biomethane production. The IEA expert present during the conference recalled that biogas and biomethane offer wider benefits like waste management and enhanced security of supply, and cannot be judged solely on their production costs, higher than fossil alternatives, such as natural gas.

At European level, the results of two recent reports on renewable gases published by Eurogas, and the Gas for Climate initiative, both presented at the conference, confirm the large potential of biomethane to defossilise the EU economy. Gas for Climate, for instance, estimates biomethane production potential in 120 bcm by 2050.

In the pathway to 2050, the sector can grow exponentially by 2030 and reach a production potential of approximately 39 bcm of natural gas. This is the estimation provided by the conference attendees when inquired about the potential of the sector in the coming years. This figure is in line with some of the latest reports estimating the potential of biomethane by 2030. The amount could be achieved with the construction of 9.900 extra plants above the 18.000 plants, with an average size of 500 Nm3/h of biomethane. The share of biomethane would be coupled by increasing shares of hydrogen to gradually replace fossil fuels in the future energy mix.

In addition to the potential for the coming years, the need for policy support was often mentioned as a key driver for the deployment of the sector. This mechanism provides greater certainty for investors and is proving positive for the deployment of other renewable gases, notably green hydrogen, which is not yet available in Europe. Multiple industry experts urged policy-makers to recognise the important role of sustainable biogas and biomethane towards GHGs reduction and the implementation of an efficient circular economy. There was also wide consensus among conference attendees on the need for an ambitious target for renewable gases as a key policy instrument to scale-up the sector.

Beyond the future potential, the current situation shows that biomethane is already cost-competitive compared to other low carbon options if we consider the avoided methane emissions from biomethane production. The further deployment of this renewable gas can also be driven by factors such as the further industrialisation of the sector or the use intermediate crops as sustainable feedstock for biogas production, as some experts pointed out.

Biomethane will play an essential role in the decarbonisation of all energy sectors, including transport or buildings. It will also bring many positive benefits and economic opportunities to a variety of different sectors, including agriculture, heavy industry or waste management. One of the key takeaways of this conference was the need to ensure that all positive advantages of biogas and biomethane across sectors are recognised and exploited. COPA-COGECA, speaking on behalf of EU farmers and agri-cooperatives, encouraged the development of biogas plants to produce renewable energy from manure contributing to the EU renewable energy targets and mitigate CH4-emissions in the livestock sector.

“The high participation rates and the quality of the speakers present at the conference this year prove the increasing interest in the positive advantages of our industry. How the future of biogas and biomethane will look like will depend on the policy framework and the ability of our industry to strengthen its competitiveness in the coming years. This is a key moment for the development of renewable gases with the revision of existing legislations and many new political initiatives in the pipeline to contribute to carbon neutrality. Our industry can immediately scale-up its production and is committed to untap its full potential and work towards a carbon neutral economy. This will bring benefits to many other sectors and will ensure the protection of our environment and our future generations.” Harmen Dekker, EBA Director.

The European Commission launches the 1st call for proposals of the European Innovation Fund. The European Innovation Fund will co-finance innovative renewable energy and low-carbon technology for the next 10 years.

The European Commission will allocate 1 000 000 000 EUR  to finance innovative projects on:

  • Innovative low-carbon technologies and processes in energy intensive industries, including products substituting carbon intensive ones
  • Construction and operation of carbon capture and storage (CCS)
  • Construction and operation of innovative renewable energy generation and energy storage technology

The first call for large-scale projects is open until 29 October 2020. However, this is a two-stage evaluation process and the deadline for the second phase is set for the second quarter of 2021.

After the first selection/evaluation phase, 70 proposals will be shortlisted. Shortlisted projects will be evaluated by the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) and by external evaluators. Shortlisted projects with a score below 7.5 (minimum threshold) will not receive funding.

Only projects above EUR 7 500 000 of capital expenditure (large-scale projects) shall be eligible for the Innovation Fund grants under the first call for proposals. The grants shall be awarded following a competitive selection process via the call for proposals. The maximum co-financing rate is 60 % of the relevant costs of the projects, which shall be disbursed as grants in the form of lump sums.

The Commission presented a Roadmap for the expected EU Strategy on Methane Emissions on 8 July. A four-week public consultation on the Roadmap is open for feedback until 5 August. The roadmap highlights the key actions of the upcoming EU Methane Emissions Strategy, which will cover agriculture, energy and waste sectors.

The strategy is aimed at tackling methane emissions and exploring potential synergies between the covered sectors. For the energy sector, improving actual measurement, reporting and verification of emissions is needed. For agriculture, accurate monitoring, verifying and reporting is more challenging, and require clear methodologies to capture any mitigation efforts correctly. Finally, for the waste sector, the main source of methane emissions are uncontrolled emissions of landfill gas in landfill sites.

The roadmap also highlights the need to achieve better measurement and reporting of EU methane emissions at private and sectoral entity level (ahead of designing new policies to curb emissions). It will also consider sector-specific actions to reduce emissions, to contribute to cleaner air and to improve the collection of methane in agriculture and waste for potential use as a source of energy.

The Commission is expected to come forward with a Strategy for Methane Emissions by the end of the third quarter of 2020.