EU biomethane production potential for 2040 could cover 30% of its current gas demand

Europe-27 together with the UK, Norway and Switzerland, have the potential to annually produce 111 bcm (~1100TWh/y) of biomethane by 2040 – equivalent to 30% of the EU’s gas demand in 2022, according to a study conducted by Guidehouse and the EBA. The analysis also forecasts potential biomethane production of up to 44 bcm by 2030, exceeding the European Commission’s target of 35 bcm.

This projected biomethane potential for Europe includes 74 bcm from anaerobic digestion (AD). Notably, major contributors to this are anticipated to be Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Poland.  Primary feedstocks anticipated are based on sequential crops (42%), alongside animal manure (19%) and agricultural residues (19%). Together, these sources account for 81% of the overall biomass. Additionally, industrial wastewater is expected to contribute 12% to the total biomethane potential in 2040.

The remaining 37 bcm is allocated for thermal gasification coming from Germany, France, Spain Sweden and the UK. However, there is untapped potential from innovative sources like crops cultivated on marginal or contaminated lands, seaweed, and digestate. Additionally, emerging technologies such as hydrothermal gasification and renewable methane offer further avenues for growth. Moreover, landfill gas presents an opportunity to boost short to medium-term potential.

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