Image: European Biogas Association/Twitter.

Source: European Biogas Association.

The biomethane industry smashed all records in 2021: Europe has now 1,023 production plants. Considering the decarbonisation potential of biomethane, this figure is a steppingstone for the decarbonisation of the whole EU economy.

“2021 has witnessed the most exponential deployment of biomethane plants in Europe. Nothing surprising here considering what biomethane brings to table for decarbonisation: it is the only renewable fuel available and scalable today in Europe which can enable the cost-competitive use of already existing gas infrastructure. The combined amount of biomethane and biogas (raw form of biomethane) available today can cover already the whole gas consumption of Belgium”, said Boyana Achovski, GIE Secretary General.

“The EBA estimates that 87% of the biomethane plants active in Europe today are connected to the gas grid. To ensure that biomethane will play an increasingly important role as a renewable fuel, an efficient trade of biomethane across Europe should be established. Besides, the future development of gas infrastructure should consider the necessary adaptations to enable the injection of higher shares of biomethane in the distribution grids”, said Harmen Dekker, EBA Director.

 

On its way to meet 1,000 TWh production by 2050

Today, Europe has around 20,000 units in operation (total number of biogas and biomethane plants). Sustainable biomethane can cover up to 30-40% of the EU gas consumption expected for 2050, with an estimated production of at least 1,000 TWh. Biomethane plants are exponentially growing across Europe: the Biomethane Map shows that almost 300 new units started operation in the past one and a half year. Europe has today 40% more biomethane plants compared to the previous edition released in 2020. The fast implementation of biomethane technologies will speed-up the decarbonisation of the EU economy. Yet, the sector will need relevant legislative support in the coming years to harness its full potential.

 

Biomethane deployment around Europe

France, Italy, and Denmark are the countries with the largest increase on the number of biomethane plants. No less than 91 new units began operation in France in 2020 and 123 plants started operation between January and October 2021. After France, the countries which saw the biggest growth in their number of biomethane plants are Italy (+11 plants in 2020) and Denmark (+ 10 plants in 2020).