All lights are green for renewable gas in France
French national newspaper Libération published on 10 May 2017 an article dedicated to the development of the biomethane sector in France. It points out the growing number of companies and public authorities using biomethane, and notes that households also begin to be provided with the climate friendly renewable gas.
Biomethane production in France: a recent but fast development
The injection of biomethane into the French gas grid was authorized in 2011. Since then, the number of biogas sites in the territory has been rapidly expanding. At the end of 2015, there were 26 operating sites, representing a total production of 215 GWh, equivalent to the consumption of 18,000 houses or 1,000 buses. In March 2017, there were 32 active sites in France.
Why is there a boom of the biomethane sector?
Convinced of the great potential of biomethane , especially in terms of job creation, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, better management of waste, greater energy independence and rise of revenues for farmers and the agricultural sector, the French State has been supporting the boom of biomethane by ensuring that producers can sell it at favourable rates. The French energy transition law also sets an objective of 10% of renewable gas consumed in 2030, which is an incentive to develop the biomethane sector. According to the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (Ademe), biomethane could represent 56% of the total gas distribution by 2050. GRDF (Gaz Réseau Distribution France), the main distribution company, believes that the biomethane sector could create more than 15,000 jobs in the years to come.
Biomethane is more and more accessible for companies, public services and households
Today, the great majority of biomethane consumers are public collectivities and companies, using biomethane as a transport fuel. There are about 40 public stations providing biomethane for transport, and this number is rapidly growing. Paris and several other cities such as Lille decided to begin the experience of biomethane-powered public transports, as well as major companies (IKEA Carrefour or Picard) which are running their truck fleet on biomethane.
For households, there is no need to change their gas installation. Biomethane can be used in the existing ones, and is not more expensive. Indeed, a compensation mechanism helps gas providers buy biomethane from producers, which results in reduced prices for consumers. A control mechanism, called “Garanties d’Origine” (“Guarantee of Origin”), also makes sure that the gas is truly produced from renewable ressources. In the coming months, major French energy providers such as ENGIE are expected to strengthen their biomethane offer.
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