Greening the gas grid for sustainable cities & communities

As part of #EUGreenWeek last week I attended the Greening the gas grid for sustainable cities & communities conference organised by the European Biogas Association and EUBIA.


The conference featured presentations and discussions on boosting renewables throughout the EU, the green gas trading markets and future areas of research and innovation. Some of my highlights are below...


Bart Martens, Parliamentary Assistant for the Euorpean Parliament, began discussions. On the supply side he noted the Waste Framework Directive which is expected to ramp-up biodegradable feedstocks and biogas production. This will happen by way of the deadline of 31 December 2023, by which point bio-waste must be either separated and recycled at source, or collected separately.

On the demand side he noted the Renewable Energy Directive, the trilogues for which are ending soon. There are still different views on:

  • The EU 2030 target for renewable energy (with EC syaing 27%, the EP 35%, and the Council 30%);
  • National targets (EC and the Council are saying no, but the EP is saying yes); and,
  • Biofuels - still dicussions on the overall transport target, whether to include non-renewable waste based fuels, multipliers for certain fuels, how to reduce role of food/feed crop based fuels and how to encourage more advanced biofuels in the mix.


Michael Chesshire, EBA Board Member, presented on the growth of the biogas and biomethane markets in Europe. What particularly stood out to me was the ambition coming from France and Italy which Michael highlighted.

To decarbonise its 300TWh of fossil fuel supplied heat France has biomethane targets of:

  • 1.7 TWh by 2018 (0.6%);
  • 8 TWh by 2023 (2.7%);
  • 60 TWh by 2028 (20%); and
  • 90 TWh by 2030 (30%).

With emphasis on transport Italy is also targeting 80TWh of biomethane by 2030.

For more on these growing markets be sure to register to attend the upcoming UK AD and World Biogas Expo 2018 which has a session on Global Anaerobic Digestion growth - drivers, barriers and solutions.


Another presentation that really stood out to me was the ~250GWh anaerobic digestion plant Danish company Nature Energy is planning to commission in 2019. Supported by a subsidy specific for cow manure management, this plant will provide a solution for the area's high-density farming and will help the country decarbonise its heat, whilst adhering to strict sustainability rules - all the manure will be captured within a 25km2 area.


There were also presentations on: the European Renewable Gas Registry, from Jesse Scharf, ERGaR; on Belgium's first biomethane plant that will turn municipal waste into green gas, from Jonathan De Witte, IOK Afvalbeheer; on Horizon 2020's Energy Work Programme, from Dr Thomas Schleker, European Commission; the BiogasAction project, from Francois Troussier, EBA; the BioCat project looking into Power to Methane, from Markus Ostermeier, of Electrochaea; and from the SaltGae project, from Robert Reinhardt, of Algen.


If you have any questions about the event or wish to see any of the slides from the day please do get in touch with me.

Posted in: Policy updates

Tags: anaerobic digestion, biogas, biomethane, food waste operators, crop operators, European Union, European Parliament, european council, RED, renewable energy directive, european biogas association, thom koller