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 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.
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.
Britain must entirely get rid of fossil-based natural gas in the coming three decades if the country is to meet its long-term decarbonisation objectives, according to a think-tank close to the ruling Conservative party.
Renewable methane – whether produced from waste, manure or synthetic sources – could displace at most 7% of natural gas in Europe at the current demand rate, according to a new study by the International Council on Clean Transport (ICCT).