Biogases towards 2040 and beyond

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This paper provides a refresh of the 2022 Gas for Climate study, incorporating latest data and insights to update the potential estimates for 2030 and 2050, and turns the focus to 2040 to provide a realistic estimate of how the potential for biomethane production in Europe can continue to develop.

The updated estimate shows that up to 44 bcm of biomethane could be produced in Europe in 2030 and 165 bcm in 2050 (of which 40 bcm in 2030 and 150 bcm in 2050 are for the EU-27). The estimated biomethane production potentials in this study are broadly consistent with the 2022 Gas for Climate study, given that the underlying methodology and key assumptions have not fundamentally changed.

In 2040, Europe could produce 111 bcm biomethane, of which 101 bcm relates to the EU-27. This potential is made up of 74 bcm anaerobic digestion (67% of the total) and 37 bcm thermal gasification (33% of the total).

On top of this, additional potential could be unlocked from novel feedstocks such as crops grown on marginal or contaminated lands, seaweed and digestate, as well as through the application of novel technologies such as hydrothermal gasification and renewable methane. In addition, landfill gas can further increase the potential in the short to medium term. This paper provides qualitative insights on how each of these can play an important role in further contributing towards a sustainable biomethane production in 2040 and beyond.

This paper provides a scenario of what is possible when action is taken across Europe to mobilise available feedstock streams towards producing biomethane towards 2040 and beyond.