Biomethane in Europe

The EBA has participated in a research on the state of play of the biomethane market in Europe. The report provides a general European overview, together with an in-depth mapping at country level of 23 European countries covered by the REGATRACE project.

The study by the European Biogas Association shows that the countries with the biggest production of biomethane are Germany (10,018 GWh in 2018), United Kingdom (3,300 GWh in 2018), the Netherlands (2,226 GWh in 2018), Denmark (1,425 GWh in 2017), Sweden (1,281 GWh in 2018) and France (1,207 GWh). The production and consumption of biomethane is well-balanced in most Member States. Denmark and Germany produce more biomethane than they consume, and the excess of production is exported or stored. In Sweden, the consumption of biomethane doubles its production. This can be explained because Swedish incentives are focused on the consumption side, whereas most Member states tend to subsidize the production or injection of biomethane.

The implementation of adequate support measures is essential for the further development of biomethane. The value and duration of operational support for biomethane differs largely between the different countries and regions. When it comes to the type of support, 65 % of renewable gas producers have a preference for the application of Feed-in Tariffs. Many countries report the upgrade to biomethane as an

interesting alternative for existing biogas plants, as it can help decarbonize the natural gas grid. This reasoning is introducing a shift from subsidies for biogas towards subsidies for biomethane.

End-use pathways for biomethane are quite clearly defined and regulated in some countries. In Sweden and Italy, the main end-use application is transport, whereas in the United Kingdom is heating & cooling. Most of Sweden’s biomethane is used in the transport sector due to a favourable support system. In Italy, the use of biomethane in the transport sector is facilitated by the already existing infrastructure and methane vehicles fleet. In 2014, the Italian government introduced the first obligation for the use of biofuels in the transport sector. In Germany, most biomethane is used for electricity production in CHP units. The usage of biomethane as transport fuel is indirectly supported in Germany through its inclusion into the list of fuels accepted for the reduction of GHG footprint for fuel distributing companies.