It is estimated that 30 to 40% of Europe’s total gas consumption could be made up of sustainable biomethane by 2050, according to a report released by the European Biogas Association (EBA).

By analysing the current availability of renewable gases in Europe, the report – the 11th edition of the EBA’s Statistical Report – also suggests the best pathways for biogas and biomethane to see full deployment.

It states that, by 2050, biogas and biomethane production could reach up to 1,700 TWh (terawatt hour), up from 191 TWh of energy in 2020. 

Already comprising 4.6% of the gas consumption of the European Union (EU), agriculture-based biogas and biomethane plants produce most of Europe’s renewable gas, which the report reveals is more than the entire natural gas consumption of Belgium. 

Estimated to create around 420,000 jobs by 2030 and more than 1m by 2050, the EBA also emphasised the importance of the biogas and biomethane industry to work with other renewable gases such as green hydrogen. 

Regarded as a ‘versatile’ energy carrier, sustainably produced biomethane – such as that obtained from industrial and municipal waste - will continue to see a ramping up in use for transport, industry, power and heating. 

This builds upon 2020 seeing the biggest year-on-year increase in biomethane production, with an additional 6.4 TWh of the gas produced in Europe. 

The report also points out the need to create a solid calculation of the economic value of biogas and biomethane benefits to allow their production to compete equally with other types of energy supply. 

Reminding us that the EU is 90% dependent on imported fossil gas, Harmen Dekker, Director, EBA, added, “The EBA Statistical Report 2021 highlights best possible pathways to accelerate sustainable renewable gas deployment and ensure we are on track to meet climate-neutrality by 2050.” 

Other solutions presented by the increased adoption of biogas and biomethane includes the decarbonisation of transport, specifically HGVs. According to the report, the projected 2024 production capacity of European Bio-liquefied natural gas (LNG), which is liquified biomethane, could fuel almost 25,000 LNG trucks for the whole year. 

In addition to new and more detailed country insights and forecasts, the 11th edition of the report – available to purchase on the EBA website - also contains specific chapters on transport and job creation.