JRC acknowledges the potential of biogas to decarbonise food production

The JRC has recently published its latest report, “Energy use in the EU food sector: State of play and opportunities for improvement”.

Citing different numbers and statistics sourced from EBA, the JRC agrees that biogas is not only a highly promising sector, but it is also trending in Europe as part of several national strategies for achieving the goals of the Renewable Energy Directive.

The publication reflects on the specific energetic requirements of the food sector: from agriculture to industrial processing and logistics, bringing food to European citizens added up to 17% of the European Union gross energy consumption in 2013. Despite the fact that energy efficiency in agriculture production is steadily improving, the food sector still relies heavily on fossil fuels (up to a 79% out of the total energy consumption).

Nevertheless, the report highlights the great potential of renewable energies. In a transition marked by the efforts of European farmers in agricultural production, investments in farm-based renewable technologies, such as biogas, would allow for energetic self-sufficiency while reducing greenhouse emissions. As the report states, the increasing popularity of on-farm biogas has already provided 13.4 Mtoe (mega-tonne oil equivalent) of primary energy and 52.3 TWh of biogas-based electricity in the EU in 2013. Based on the National Renewable Energy Action Plan projections, by 2020 biogas could account for 1.5% of the European Union’s primary energy supply and 5% of overall natural gas consumption.

The full report can be consulted here.