The war in Ukraine has given renewable gas a new impetus, with the European Commission proposing to ramp up biomethane production to 35 billion cubic metres (bcm) by 2030, up from 3 bcm in 2020. In Europe, France has taken the lead, EURACTIV.fr reports.
The war in Ukraine has triggered a momentous shift in the EU's energy and climate policy, highlighting the urgency of replacing imports of Russian fossil gas with green alternatives, like biomethane and clean hydrogen.
The European Commission has doubled its objective for home-grown biomethane production to 35 billion cubic metres per year by 2030 as part of efforts to bolster the bloc against a looming energy crisis, according to a new communication.
The European Commission is considering a new, separate communication on the impact of the energy crisis focused specifically on the agriculture sector alongside a broader communication on the energy crisis, according to sources.
Biogas production has been earmarked as a key way to help fortify the EU's struggling farm sector against burgeoning energy costs, according to a draft of the European Commission’s communication on energy prices due to be published next month.
The gas industry is committed to ensuring that by 2050, 100% of gas is renewable or decarbonised, but to achieve that, it will have to diversify, Patrick Corbin, president of the French Gas Association (AFG) said in an interview with EURACTIV France.
The European Commission's green light for a natural gas storage aid scheme in France was welcomed by infrastructure operator Storengy, which says it will allow the transition to 100% renewable gas. EURACTIV France reports.
Europe has set a clear goal for full decarbonisation by 2050, with renewables-based electricity set to become the dominant energy carrier, and that means fossil gas will have “only a marginal role” in the long run, EU climate chief Frans Timmermans said on Thursday (25 March).
Gas companies in Europe and America are looking at using the existing gas network to serve industrial “clusters” of hydrogen users in sectors like chemicals, cement and steelmaking, adopting a “phased approach” endorsed by the European Commission.
Production of biogas, biomethane and “green” hydrogen will have to skyrocket by at least 1,000% over the next three decades in order to reach the EU’s climate neutrality objective for 2050, an EU official has said.
Bioenergies, including wood, biofuels and forest-based industries, should be recognised under the EU’s draft sustainable finance taxonomy, in line with the recently-updated renewable energy directive, an industry coalition has claimed.
Industry executives argue fossil gas should be considered green when it displaces coal in power generation, sparking fresh controversy around an upcoming EU sustainable finance taxonomy aimed at rewarding investments in clean technologies.
The market for Guarantees of Origin (GOs) linked to renewable gas is currently in its infancy. But with demand building up, industry figures – and environmentalists – are now calling for existing certification schemes to be harmonised and made mandatory across the European Union.
Biomethane production costs are expected to fall in the coming decade as more biogas plants come on stream. But analysts warn that massive cost reductions like in the solar and wind power sector are unlikely and policy measures will be needed to prop up this fledgeling renewable energy industry.
The price of CO2 credits on Europe’s emissions trading scheme needs to rise to around €50 per tonne in order to drive the long-term development of Europe’s biomethane industry, says Marc-Antoine Eyl-Mazzega, a French researcher.
The prospects for biogas in Europe look bright, with conservative estimates pointing to a tenfold increase in production by 2030. However, the industry will need to stay rooted in the local economy and come clean on environmental credentials if it wants to avoid a green backlash, analysts say.
Biogas production remains tiny at the moment in Europe, but the industry has big plans for the future, provided costs can be lowered and environmental issues addressed. In this special report, EURACTIV looks into the challenges and opportunities facing the sector.
A demonstration plant in Germany that converts wind electricity into hydrogen is probably the most emblematic of a series of pilot projects that could radically transform Europe’s energy landscape in the coming decade.
The European Commission, backed by 11 EU member states, refused to sign a declaration on “sustainable and smart gas infrastructure” tabled by the Romanian Presidency earlier this week because the text wasn’t ambitious enough on climate change, EURACTIV has learned.
Natural gas of fossil origin has “no future” in Europe, Greens have warned as EU energy ministers prepared to sign a declaration on Tuesday (2 April) promoting “smart gas infrastructure” as part of a low-carbon energy mix for 2050.
Europe’s electricity and gas operators are currently working on a joint network plan based on a carbon budget which includes zero-emission scenarios for 2050. “And that automatically means there will be no fossil gas in the mix by then,” Jan Ingwersen told EURACTIV in an interview.
The production of so-called green hydrogen from wind and solar electricity is seen as a potential game-changer for the transition to a 100% renewable energy system. But getting there will take some time and some intermediary solutions will be needed, says Daan Peters.