Picture: EBA.

Source: European Biogas Association.

The European Commission announced a target for the production of 35 billion cubic meters (bcm) of biomethane within the EU by 2030 as part of its REPowerEU plan. The biomethane value chain welcomes this target, which is a historic step forward and shows EU leadership. The target will replace 20% of natural gas imports from Russia by a sustainable, cheaper and locally produced alternative. Biomethane also helps to reduce exposure to food price volatility because digestate, a co-product of biomethane production, replaces currently expensive synthetic fertilizers.

“Europe needs to urgently diversify and reduce its dependence on Russian gas whilst stepping up on the ambition for the climate targets. The sector is ready to deliver the 35 bcm by 2030 proposed by the EU and calls for the inclusion of this target in the recast of the Renewable Energy Directive (REDIII), currently under development. Close cooperation between the European Commission, Members States and the biomethane value chain will be required to ensure immediate action following today’s proposals. The biomethane target represents over 20% of the current EU gas imports from Russia. By 2050, this potential can triple, growing well over 100 bcm and covering 30-50% of the future EU gas demand,” said Harmen Dekker, CEO of the European Biogas Association (EBA).

The EBA has been intensely working to table sustainable biomethane as an essential renewable energy source in the past years. Over the past months, this work has been intensified within the Sustainable Biomethane Initiative, in which the EBA, together with Common Futures and representatives of the biomethane value chain, has started discussions with the European Commission and different Member States. Achieving the target presented today will require close public – private cooperation to attract capital investments. The significant increase of biomethane production will secure affordable and sustainable energy for EU citizens and will support the resilience of the EU economy.

“Some countries are already active in the development of the biomethane production in Europe. Many others are starting to unlock this potential now. Concerted actions across Member States will be critical to increase energy security with a scalable green gas in the coming months and years,” Dekker added.

The full supply chain of biomethane producers and users is ready to continue investing in the sector and deliver renewable gas for Europe with the support of national and EU policymakers.