Last September took place the 2016 EBA Conference (European Biogas Association) in Ghent, Belgium. Over 200 delegates mostly from Europe, with some North American participants, gathered to talk about the next revolution of gas that is biomethane.
Between politicians and industry experts, the dialogues were open. The biomethane market, though growing by 30% annually in Europe, is likely to be hampered without a clear and visionary policy to allow project developers to ensure their investment through a stable market for biomethane.
Mrs. Marie Donnelly, Director Energy at the European Commission, was one of the main guest speakers. She presented key industry issues: high investment costs, the low maturity of certain markets, administrative barriers, problems of interconnection between services, inputs problems, etc. All these issues are now being targeted by the European Commission to catalyze the industry.
The measures that are being or will be introduced affect the regulation of purchase costs, the support for energy (FIT), the reduction of the administrative burden and the revision of the sustainable development policy of the European Union.
All politicians attending have agreed that the dialogue should be open not only with the industry to facilitate market development and contribute to the development of future policies, but also with the critics of that industry in order to respond to their fears.
While biogas is a renewable energy source with a high energy potential, it will not fill the entire energy demand of Europe. Other solutions are therefore envisaged.
For example, in the UK, the National Grid puts forward that by 2050, much of the energy demand will be met by BioSNG (synthetic natural gas produced by gasification of cellulosic materials) and by hydrogen (Concept of “Power-to-Gas”). Concerning hydrogen, it is first produced with the surplus of renewable electricity (photovoltaics, wind, hydro, etc.) before being stored in the natural gas network. In the UK it represents an energy storage capacity of 650 GWh.
Furthermore, the Eurogas association, which has 46 members working in the field of natural gas in Europe, offers a smart energy future where gas and electricity networks are interconnected to optimize supply and energy efficiency over the network.
Whether with a potential of more than 13 000 new biogas plants in the USA or a potential to double the current production of biogas in Europe by 2020, biomethane is part of the future of gas and is aligned with the concept of circular economy.
In the short term, countries like Poland are launching tenders for the construction of numerous biogas plants for electricity production, but we can soon expect such tenders to be oriented towards biomethane production.
The 4th edition of the EBA Conference will take place in January 2018 and aims to reach more participants with a growing market in Europe and worldwide. By then, EBA and its members continue to invest in improving the biomethane and biogas markets for a sustainable energy future.
Source : EBA Conference