The biogas and biomethane market in France is experiencing, more than ever, a significant growth. Recently, the French government reiterated its intention to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and increase the share of renewable energy to 32%. To succeed, France wants, among other things, to capitalize on the strong potential of biogas and biomethane as green energy. Over the years, France has put in place numerous measures and subsidies to support biogas and biomethane and thus reach its targets. In addition, this year, the development of the biogas and renewable natural gas industry is one of the concerns discussed during the revision of the multiannual energy program. In short, France puts in place the necessary pillars to create interesting business opportunities in biogas and biomethane. As EXPOBIOGAZ 2018, a major event demonstrating the dynamism of the industry in France, gets closer, we would like to highlight major developments of this market.
In addition, the majority of biogas plants use feedstocks from agriculture and agri-food industry. In fact, the production of biogas and biomethane in France is based on the valorization of waste and agricultural, industrial or municipal by-products. Unlike some countries like Germany, it does not practice culture used for production of energy.
In addition, the upgrading of biogas for its injection into natural gas distribution networks is growing rapidly in France. However, cogeneration, the production of electricity and heat with biogas, remains preferred.
For several years, the government of France has actively supported the growth of biogas and biomethane. The market mechanisms and the various subsidies offered make it possible to reduce the high costs of production.
These market mechanisms give producers the certainty of selling a certain amount of biogas and biomethane to a selected supplier at a previously fixed price and for a fixed term. These are the pillars of government support for the industry.
These purchase tariff, determined by the government, depend on several factors, such as the form of valorization used, the size of the unit and the nature of the feedstocks.
There are two types of fixed purchase tariffs:
The duration of the purchase obligation is 15 years, and allows to reduce the costs of production and operation. The basic purchase tariff for renewable natural gas plants is between 6.4 and 9.5 c € / kWh, depending on their size. A bonus may be added depending on the type of feedstocks used.
For this type of biogas plant, the duration of the purchase obligation is 20 years. When the biogas plants exceed a power of 500 kW, they go through a formal bidding process. This purchase price has allowed for strong growth incogeneration in agricultural areas.
Guarantees of origin bind the biomethane producer and the gas supplier for 2 years. The gas supplier receives a guarantee of origin for each MWh of biomethane produced. This disappears from the register as soon as the MWh is consumed.
Over the years, the government of France and other organizations active in the biogas and biomethane industry have enhanced the financial incentives offered. The goal is to stimulate French industry and reduce the costs associated with the production and operation of biomethane or biogas units.
Here are some examples of financial incentives you could benefit from:
Last March, the French government launched public debates on energy priorities to take action on by 2023. These discussions will feed into the revision of the multiannual energy program in France (EPP) [PDF], scheduled toward the end of 2018.
Multiannual energy planning allows France to set itself targets and priorities in order to make the necessary energy transition. Thus, the new version of the EPP will aim to further develop renewable energies and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Biogas and biomethane take a prominent place in the ongoing discussions. This year, Sébastien Lecornu, Secretary of State for the Minister for Ecological and Solidarity Transition, has launched a working group to study the development of the biogas and biomethane industry in France. The working group made 15 recommendations to catalyze the sector ahead, concerning, for example:
In addition, the current version of the EPP set a target of 8TWh in 2023 for the injection of biomethane into the distribution networks. This target is already reached today, in 2018, thanks to the cumulative power of the projects currently being implemented in France. The high potential of biogas and biomethane in France is therefore becoming more and more obvious. With the revision of the EPP, the government will set even more ambitious goals.
Source: Minister for Ecological and Solidarity Transition
Despite the continued growth of the biogas and biomethane industry, some obstacles remain.
A recent study by ATLANTE, the Advent of the 3rd Gas Revolution, mentions, for example:
However, there are several solutions for these problems: the use of new technologies, the implementation of regulatory changes and others. The actors involved in the industry are working to mitigate these obstacles to optimize its development.
The combined action of the measures set up for the biogas and biomethane industry, organizations and companies unquestionably create interesting business opportunities in France for project developers and suppliers. This will become increasingly true as France moves towards carbon neutrality and seeks to reduce its GHG emissions. In addition, a report by ADEME is studying the feasibility of a 100% renewable gas mix by 2050.
Several companies in France are already benefiting from the market, such as:
This company valorizes biogas from waste storage facilities with its WAGABOX.
A company specializing in the construction of biogas plants in the agricultural and industrial industry, in particular.
A company with expertise in the technological development of biomass flows and the supply of renewable energy system.
A company specializing in gas separation technologies for biogas upgrading, nitrogen production and helium recovery, among others.
As BiogasWorld always strives to take the pulse of the market and meet its actors, we will participate in EXPOBIOGAZ in Strasbourg. The company will bring for the occasion Xebec and Ductor, well-established leaders of the industry. Come and meet us at our booth on June 6th to discuss the different avenues of biogas and biomethane and the latest innovations! Other French companies recognized as those named above will also be there to discuss with you about the market in France and the opportunities offered.