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51 percent increase of biomethane plants in Europe in two years – EBA and GIE map

The European Biogas Association (EBA) and Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE), which represents European gas infrastructure operators active in gas transmission, gas storage, and LNG regasification have released the second edition of the ‘European Biomethane Map’. The analysis of the data collected shows that are currently 18 countries in Europe producing biomethane and that the number of biomethane plants in Europe has increased by 51 percent in two years, from 483 in 2018 to 729 in 2020.

The European Biogas Association (EBA) and Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) have released the second edition of the ‘European Biomethane Map’. The analysis of the data collected shows that are currently 18 countries in Europe producing biomethane and that the number of biomethane plants in Europe has increased by 51 percent in two years, from 483 in 2018 to 729 in 2020 (image courtesy EBA).

This is the second edition of the European Biomethane Map and produced in cooperation between two organisations promoting the development of renewable gases: the European Biogas Association (EBA) and Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE). The first edition of the map was launched in spring 2018.

This comprehensive map locates and lists all known biomethane installations running in Europe using information gathered from national biogas associations, energy agencies, and companies. According to the map, Germany has the highest share of biomethane (aka renewable natural gas – RNG) plants (232), followed by France (131) and the UK (80).

In recent years, the development of biomethane has experienced a dynamic ascent and this 51 percent increase in the number of biomethane plants over the past two years confirms this positive trend. Our industry is already producing 23 TWh of this green gas. By 2030, the sector could substantially enlarge the production to 370 TWh and reach 1 170 TWh by 2050. The EU is in need of green gas solutions such as biomethane. Political support is essential to maximise the needed deployment of biomethane and ensure smart sector integration, said Susanna Pflüger, Secretary-General, EBA.

The map provides specific details about each biomethane plant, including their connection to the gas grid, feed-in capacity, main substrate used, upgrading process, and date of start of the operation. Cross-border interconnection points and pipelines are also indicated.

The map brings additional data about the European biomethane market evolution, distribution of plants in European countries, and forecasts of natural gas and biomethane indigenous production in Europe until 2037.

Biomethane has many positive externalities nowadays and we were looking forward to presenting the recent development of this technology in Europe. It is already showcased by several studies that a fully renewable energy system in which biomethane plays a major role in a smart combination with renewable electricity and Europe’s well-developed existing infrastructure offers the best solution to cost-effective and resilient energy system integration. Developing waste to solutions in energy, of which biomethane, for example, will provide the flexible energy we look for. It will also create circular and decarbonized local economies and in Europe, we already have all the ingredients to make this happen, said Boyana Achovski, Secretary-General, GIE.

The 2020 edition of the map has been updated with new features such as;

  • The type of connection to the grid: some plants are connected to the transport grid, others to the distribution grid, and a few are not connected as they use it for their own consumption.
  • The type of gas transported in a specific grid. It depends on national specifications and can be low caloric or high caloric.
  • Whether there is on-site production of bioCNG or bioLNG, which can be used as a green fuel in the transport sector.

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