EBA praises the recognition of biomethane decarbonization potential but regrets lack of strong signal to biomethane value chain

Brussels, 20 October 2022 On the 19th of October, the European Parliament adopted in Plenary sitting the TRAN Reports on the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation and the FuelEU Maritime Regulation, two fundamental pieces of EU legislation aiming at the decarbonization of the transport sector. EBA praises the European Parliament for recognizing biomethane as a renewable fuel and its potential to blend with and replace fossil transport fuels like LNG in both the AFIR and FuelEU Maritime Reports.

EBA applauds the increased ambitions of FuelEU Maritime, which raised the GHG intensity cap for ship energy usage. The European Parliament, however, passed up a chance to strengthen the Commission proposal on advanced biofuels, while betting on renewable fuels of non-biological origin.

Moreover, EBA commends the European Parliament for mandating Member States to complete the LNG refuelling infrastructure in the AFIR Report. Still, the European Parliament missed the opportunity to give a strong positive signal to the biomethane value chain by setting maximum distance-based targets also for the biomethane compatible refuelling infrastructure.

“According to the European Environmental Agency, transport is responsible for 27% of Europe’s total GHG emissions and is a major contributor to climate change. The use of biomethane as a transport fuel provides for a sustainable and readily available alternative to conventionnel transport fuels, being a key player in the transition towards a climate neutral economy.”, explains Giulia Cancian, Secretary General of the European Biogas Association.

“As biomethane consists of the same molecule as natural gas, this renewable fuel can be directly used either in the form of Bio-CNG or Bio-LNG to serve as a transport fuel in LNG vessels and injected in the LNG refuelling infrastructure. This means that biomethane can contribute concretely and immediately to the decarbonization of the transport sector: first of all, the deployment of biomethane to replace fossil fuels does not require the investment in additional resources and time to develop new infrastructure. Moreover, recent studies show that Bio-CNG and Bio-LNG are the best performing fuels for decarbonising transport, outperforming even electric vehicles thanks to their potential to offer a negative carbon footprint when applying a “Well-to-Wheel” methodology. With a typically sourced bio-LNG drop-in fuel, a blend of 20% bio-LNG can reduce GHG emissions from a vessel running on LNG by up to 18% on a tank-to-wake basis; for 100% bio-LNG the reduction is of the order of 93% in the combustion cycle, with even further reductions possible on a well-to-wake basis. This is particularly interesting knowing that the biomethane compatible fleet – both in the maritime and road heavy-duty segments – is rapidly growing.” Concludes the EBA Secretary General.

The upcoming interinstitutional negotiations within European Parliament and Council will be a precious opportunity to augment the files’ ambition on advanced biofuels and fast track transport decarbonisation. EBA counts on the co-legislators to pursue this agenda.

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