Belgium: Biogas-E issues publication on Flemish biogas trends and progress

The 11th progress report of the Flemish biogas sector considers the progress for the year 2014. The report shows that production numbers do not always paint the whole picture.

Although biogas production increases, the number of (large) installations is stagnating around the same number (40) for a few years now. This increase in overall biogas generation means that production figures for individual installations are being optimized. About 700 GWh of electricity was produced from biogas in 2014, which is a 14% increase compared to 2013.  This production is mainly realized by the 40 large scale installations. The number of small scale installations increases slightly, but not as strong as in the past years. The continued challenging economic environment makes that biogas operators are under a constant pressure to keep their plant in operation.

However, new installations are still being built, where other installations go out of business for various reasons. In 2014, three large scale installations ceased their activities, a clear signal that these are still difficult times for the biogas sector within the Flemish legislative and economical setting. Generally speaking, new installations are larger than the installations built 5-10 years ago. This indicates that smaller projects (not taking into account pocket installations) are no longer profitable in the current economic environment. The investment risk for new installations is high and investors are reluctant to invest their money in biogas production units these days.

To this day all biogas from the 40 large installations is valorized in Combined Heat and Power (CHP) units with the simultaneous production of electricity and heat. Recently some initiatives started to investigate the possibilities of a demonstration project for biomethane production. Commercial installations are not yet viable since there is no mechanism in place for the operational support of biomethane production in Flanders.

Full report available for Biogas-E members here (in Dutch).

Source: Biogas-E