Successful first edition of the European Biomethane Week showcases industry commitment to deliver the 35 bcm biomethane target by 2030
Brussels 27/10/23 – The inaugural European Biomethane Week “Countdown to 2030: from targets to action!” concludes today with great success. This dedicated week, supported by the European Commission and the Biomethane Industrial Partnership, featured the state-of-the-art of biogases across Europe. The comprehensive programme included a two-day high-level European Biogas Conference in Brussels and ten side events in various European countries. One year after the REPowerEU plan to end reliance on Russian fossil fuels, the biogas industry is accelerating fast to contribute to energy security and climate objectives in the European Union.
650 participants and 49 speakers, including policymakers from EU institutions and Member States, senior companies’ executives, academics and other civil society partners, convened in Brussels on October 24th and 25th to discuss critical aspects of a successful transition to green energy. In her keynote address, European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson emphasised the significance of biomethane in achieving climate targets, fostering the circular bioeconomy, and enhancing energy security across Europe. Simson stated: “With biomethane, we have a solution that is available, right now. It can immediately start replacing natural gas, and the large share of imported natural gas. It is a good decarbonisation solution, especially in remote rural areas or sectors that would be difficult to electrify. And it is produced, here in Europe, creating jobs, growth and benefiting local communities.” The European Commissioner for Energy also reiterated the EU long-term commitment to lead the energy transition and decarbonise the gas market by 2050. “An increase in our biomethane production will help us do just that. We have made tremendous progress, but more is needed. It’s crucial that we continue to work together – policymakers and industry, Member States and EU – to turn the opportunity into reality.”, concluded Simson.
The European Biogas Conference served as a platform for insightful discussions on realising the 35 billion cubic meters (bcm) biomethane target and supporting the rapid decarbonisation of electricity, heating, transport, and industry sectors. Currently, biogases provide 21 bcm of renewable gas to Europe and can potentially offset two-thirds of future European gas demand by 2050. During his opening remarks, EBA CEO Harmen Dekker announced that €18 billion in investments have been earmarked to scale up the sector in Europe. Dekker emphasised, “While this progress is encouraging, the industry must take bolder steps.“
The added value of biogases as drivers of the European bioeconomy was another key topic on the agenda. The conference explored the current options for the valorisation of biogenic CO2 from anaerobic digestion, the benefits of innovative agronomic practices and sustainable management of European soils. During his keynote speech, Jorge Pinto Antunes, Deputy Head of Cabinet of European Commissioner for Agriculture Wojciechowski, explained that 15 out of 22 EU Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) Strategic Plans support the production of biogas and biomethane.
The European Biomethane Week also marked the launch of the European Biogas Association’s (EBA) “Biogases 8-points plan for a resilient and climate neutral EU”. Ahead of the EU elections in 2024, EBA presented its vision to collectively achieve EU climate neutrality by prioritising biogas and biomethane as essential components of the green circular transition. The 8-points plan touches upon energy security, EU technology leadership, renewable energy, emissions savings, waste valorisation, water resilience, nutrients recycling and internal market for biomethane. “The biogas and biomethane industry stands ready to collaborate with policymakers, industry stakeholders, and communities to realise a vision for a greener and more sustainable Europe. By prioritising biogas and biomethane as essential components of the green circular transition, we can collectively achieve EU climate neutrality, securing a safer and more sustainable future for all.”, highlighted EBA Secretary General Giulia Cancian.
Finally, the EBA Awards ceremony 2023 recognised outstanding individuals and projects for their innovation in energy transition and renewables: Biomethane RNG Channel team (Biogas Booster Award), REGATRACE project (Biogas Groundbreaker Award), Air Liquide (Energy Efficiency Champion), Lucy Hopwood (Women Leading the way to Climate Neutrality Award) and Micropyros biology team (Top Biogas Young Talent Award).