There have been encouraging signs for the biomethane transport sector in recent months and investment interest in the sector is growing.
In the UK, the Renewable Transport Fuels and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Regulations 2018 came into force on 15th April 2018, extending the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) to 2032, raising the percentage of renewable fuel obligated suppliers must provide to 9.75% by 2020 – which doubles the size of the market in just two years. The reforms should help stimulate uptake of biomethane as a transport fuel and the investment case is getting stronger, with rises over the last three months in the Renewable Transport Fuel Certificate reported price (as the below chart shows).
Department for Transport also recently announced a £48 million fund for ultra-low emission buses and infrastructure which could lead to hundreds more biomethane buses hitting our roads. Bids are encouraged from gas refuelling stations, with support extending up to 75% of capital expenditure. All bids should be submitted to Department for Transport by 30th June and guidance on how to apply can be found here.
Looking abroad can help put into the context the scale of investment that this could open up for the UK market.
Developments in Italy show the scale of ambition that biomethane can achieve in the transport sector. There, €4.7 billion worth of investment has now been committed between 2018 to 2022. This is expected to produce 80TWh of biomethane by 2030, helping reduce emissions from manure and other agricultural residues, and provide green gas that can power agricultural machines and vehicles. Efforts are also underway to establish a European system for trading biomethane across borders which should further help increase its market share and that of gas more widely.
UK AD and World Biogas Expo will also feature a session on biomethane buses, with case studies from around the world.
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