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Biomethane can replace 3% of the European natural gas consumption by 2030 – this is one of the results presented by three biomethane projects: BIOMASTER, GreenGasGrids and Urban Biogas during their final workshop in March in Brussels. For this to happen, more projects and a more market-oriented approach are needed under full appreciation of sustainability criteria.
Biomethane has great potential to help reaching the 40% reduction target in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and to consolidate energy security in Europe. This conclusion was drawn at the final workshop on “biomethane markets, value chains and applications” jointly organized by three EU projects – BIOMASTER, GreenGasGrids and Urban Biogas, co-funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme. Their aim was to promote biogas upgrading for injection into the gas grid and use in vehicles.
“The upgrading technology is already in place and is fully reliable” was explained to 150 participants present at the March workshop. The 230 biomethane upgrading plants in Europe are a clear starting signal for a wide and strong development for this decentralised ecological fuel. Within the EU projects, several European cities and regions have developed their concepts for biogas plants treating organic municipal waste and trained a number of municipalities, waste companies and consumers to move forward this implementation. Today, the greatest achievements of biomethane for road transport are found in Sweden however, a booming development has already started in the UK and France. Italy is ready to join in.
The Biomethane Roadmap developed in the GreenGasGrids project has estimated a biomethane production in Europe by 2030 of 18-20 billion m3, corresponding to about 3% of the European natural gas consumption or 10% of total gaseous vehicle fuel consumption. The recently reached agreement on cooperation of six European Biomethane Registries and the finalisation of CEN standard for biomethane injection and use in vehicles will substantially improve international biomethane trade.
For this to happen, “we still need more projects, a more market-oriented approach and we need to attribute sustainability bigger importance”, concluded Arthur Wellinger, workshop moderator and representative of the European Biogas Association.
Workshop website and presentations: http://european-biogas.eu/events/biomethane-workshop/
 Press release “Six national biomethane registries are developing the foundation for cross-border biomethane trade in Europe” http://european-biogas.eu/2013/11/25/six-national-biomethane-registries-developing-foundation-cross-border-biomethane-trade-europe/