The Gas for Climate consortium has published a study to update the potential for biomethane production in EU member states.
The study shows that 27 EU countries have enough raw materials to meet the targets (35 billion cubic meters) for producing fuel from renewable energy according to the European Commission’s plan to phase out the consumption of Russian fossil fuels by 2030 (REPowerEU-2030).
According to the consortium, up to 41 bcm can be produced in 2030. m of biomethane, in 2050 – 151 billion cubic meters.
The study notes that as of 2020, natural gas consumption in the EU countries was 400 billion cubic meters, of which 155 billion cubic meters was imported into the EU from the Russian Federation.
“Therefore, biomethane can play an essential role in meeting the EU target of reducing GHG emissions by 2030 and achieving zero emissions by 2050. In addition, biomethane can improve Europe’s energy security by reducing reliance on Russian natural gas and partially reducing energy costs for households and companies. Achieving this goal requires significant short- and long-term expansion, as the EU currently produces 3 bcm of biomethane and 15 billion cubic meters. m of biogas,” the report says.
Gas4Climate’s previous estimates of supplies in EU member states and the UK are 35 billion cubic meters in 2030 and 95 billion cubic meters by 2050. The updated forecast applies a single methodology to determine both short-term and long-term biomethane production potential in the EU, Norway, Switzerland, and the UK based on sustainable feedstock.
Overall potential: 27 member countries (EC-27) have enough sustainable raw materials to produce at least 41 bcm of biomethane in 2030 and 151 billion cubic meters in 2050 (EU-27).
The potential for anaerobic decomposition is estimated at 38 billion cubic meters in 2030 (in the EU-27) and by 2050 – up to 91 billion cubic meters.
Among the top five in 2030 and 2050: France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Spain. Manure, agricultural residues, and crop rotation remain the primary renewable raw materials for meeting the targets, dominating the 2050 perspective.
According to the consortium, the potential for thermal gasification in 27 countries in 2030 will amount to 2.9 billion cubic meters and in 2050 – 60 billion cubic meters. France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and Italy are among the top five in 2030 and 2050.
“Even more potential for biomethane production can be secured by exploring additional sustainable feedstock sources (eg, biomass from marginal coastal or polluted land, seaweed as outlined in the REPowerEU plan) and technologies. For example, hydrothermal gasification of liquid raw materials, including organic waste and residues,” the consortium’s review says.
After the resumption of EU plans for producing biomethane, the target is 35 billion cubic meters should be adopted by the Member States and become national targets included in climate and energy plans, with the adoption of appropriate measures, including the issuance of permits, financing, and certification.