The decarbonisation potential of biomethane is being fully realised following a record-breaking year for the deployment of biomethane production plants across Europe.
Biomethane plants in Europe now total 1,023 according to the European Biogas Association (EBA)/Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) Biomethane Map report 2021, equating to 20,000 units in operation when combined with biogas plants.
If the industry can sustain this rate of growth, the EBA expect sustainable biomethane to cover up to 30-40% of the EU gas consumption expected for 2050, with an estimated production of at least 1m000 TWh (terawatt hours).
Putting it into perspective, Boyana Achovski, Secretary General, GIE, stated that the combined amount of biomethane biogas available today can cover talready the whole gas consumption of Belgium.
She added, “Nothing surprising here considering what biomethane brings to the table for decarbonisations: it is the only renewable fuel available and scalable today in Europe which can enable the cost-competitive use of already existing gas infrastructure.”
The amount of biomethane plants in Europe has jumped by 40% compared to the report released at the end of 2020.
Commenting on the role of biomethane, Harmen Dekker, Director, EBA, said, “The EBA estimates that 87% of the biomethane plants active in Europe today are connected to the gas grid.”
“To ensure that biomethane will play an increasingly important role as a renewable fuel, an efficient trade of biomethane across Europe should be established.”
The most prolific adopters of biomethane technology are France, Italy, and Denmark, with France seeing 91 new units begin operation in 2020 and 123 between January and October 2021.