The Ukraine-Russia war is emphasizing Europe’s need to reduce dependence on external gas suppliers. The EU produces today less than 15% of its natural gas demand. According to a draft of the European Commission’s communication on energy prices to be published in March, biogas generation has been recognized as a key method, EURACTIV reports.
The European Commission estimates energy prices to remain high and volatile until at least 2023. To help stabilise natural gas prices, the EU will propose setting an EU-wide objective of producing 35 billion cubic metres of biogas by 2030. Member States should adopt renewable gas strategies, fully aligned with this target, it sets out.
Meanwhile, Germany, the biggest biogas producer in Europe, its Renewable Energy Federation (BEE) is pursuing a renewable energy expansion, energiezukunft reports. Biogas facilities in Germany currently produce around 1 billion cubic metres of gas per year, with an energy content of about 100 TWh which is equivalent to 10% of Germany’s total gas consumption. About 10 TWh of this is being processed and injected into the gas grid. 90% of the biogas is transformed to power and heat on-site in CHP units.
According to BEE’s president all the biogas could be processed and fed into the gas grid. Furthermore, doubling production to 200 TWh is possible by fermenting existing manure and waste and using grassland and biodiversity areas. Doing this would significantly reduce dependence on Russian gas imports. The Energy Watch Group adds that only the smallest part of German rural biogas plants is connected to the natural gas grid so far.