EU Taxonomy criteria could influence biomethane transport

The EBA welcomes the adoption of the EU Taxonomy but the criteria hinder the deployment of biomethane in transport and buildings.

The European Biogas Association welcomes the adoption of the EU Taxonomy yesterday by the European Commission as a means to channel investments towards sustainable activities across the European Union. The regulation also supports the role of biogas and biomethane in providing renewable heat and power and recognizes the need to integrate biomethane in existing natural gas grids. The EBA believes this sends a positive signal to investors and operators across the sector for further deployment of biogas and biomethane in the coming years. However, the criteria adopted by the EU Taxonomy will put the use of biomethane in the transport sector at stake.

Based on lifecycle analysis (LCA), bio-CNG and bio-LNG can reduce emissions by more than 100%, said the EBA. Vehicles could use locally produced biomethane, contributing to a circular economy and creating new businesses and job opportunities for farmers, agricultural industries, waste treatment operators, and the local population. The EBA said this decision is “inconsistent with the Taxonomy Regulation (articles 9 and 10), as well as with the overall objectives of the EU Green Deal”.

Additionally, the EBA said the EU Taxonomy puts too strict restrictions on the use of renewable gas in building heating systems and fails to identify highly-efficient gas appliances and hybrid heat pumps as sustainable assets, although they can be beneficial to the energy system and customers through flexibility and security of supply, and maintaining affordability. The EBA calls for higher transparency in the elaboration of the next batch of the EU Taxonomy by the European Commission.