The cross-border biomethane trade between Germany and Denmark will soon become a lot easier. The Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena) – the German Energy Agency – and Danish electricity and gas grid operator Energinet announced a close cooperative agreement on Thursday at the 3rd European Biomethane Conference (EBC) in Berlin. Both companies will conclude an agreement in the near future, which will serve as a mutual acknowledgement of biomethane certifications from both countries. Since 2011, dena operates the German Biogas Register, while Energinet operates a biogas register for Denmark. For customers of both registers, this will facilitate the cross-border transfer of almost CO2-neutral biomethane, which can be used to generate electricity and heat or as fuel.
'The European Commission aims to simplify cross-border trade of renewable gasses by creating biogas registers in all member states,' dena's Managing Director Kristina Haverkamp stated at the Biomethane Conference in Berlin. 'With the planned cooperative agreement between dena and Energinet, we continue towards this goal, by strengthening the collaboration between Germany and Denmark. Firms from both countries will soon be able to exchange biomethane certifications in a simple and transparent way.
Torben Brabo, Senior Vice President of the gas department of Energinet.dk emphasised: 'We are delighted to be closely collaborating with dena. The harmonisation of the European biomethane market is an important strategic goal we continuously strive towards as part of the European Renewable Gas Registry (ERGaR) initiative, together with dena and other European players. This is an important next step to make biomethane available to European citizens. The planned cooperative agreement between dena and Energinet will facilitate the bilateral transfer of biomethane certifications until we come up with a European solution.'
European biomethane market is leading theme of Biomethane Conference
The development of a common European biomethane market was one of the leading themes of the 3rd European Biomethane Conference (EBC) in Berlin. The focus was the European Commission's proposal to amend and extend the Renewable Energy Directive. There are currently still several hurdles when it comes to cross-border biomethane trade. Transnational certification approval procedures, for instance, often pose difficulties, as not all member states have established registers and existing national biogas registers are not aligned with one another. The EBC proposed a plan to establish a European Biogas Register (European Renewable Gas Registry, ERGaR), aimed at standardising the exchange of biomethane certifications between member states and making it more transparent. Other themes were new business models for the sector, now biogas plants are no longer funded, current developments in international biomethane trade and the impact of a new regulatory framework on technologies and markets.
Biomethane – almost CO2-neutral biogas with natural gas quality
Biomethane is a biogas that is upgraded to natural gas quality. It is almost CO2-neutral. Biomethane is produced from organic materials such as renewable raw materials or waste. Its benefit lies in its wide range of possible uses. Besides generating renewable electricity and renewable heat, it can also be used as a biofuel for vehicles or as a raw material for the production of chemical products. Chemically, there is no difference between biomethane and natural gas. It can therefore be injected into any segment of the existing natural gas grid.
The EBC, organised by dena, is a European platform for representatives from the industry, politics and research. This year, more than 130 participants from 14 countries attended the conference. With projects such as the Biogas Register, the Biogas Partnership and their involvement with the ERGaR dena has been supporting the biomethane industry in the development of the German and European markets since 2008.
Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH (dena), German Energy Agency – Michael Draeke, Chausseestrasse 128 a, 10115 Berlin, Germany
Tel.: +49 (0)30 726 165 709; fax: +49 (0)30 726 165 699; email: draeke(at)dena.de; Internet: www.dena.de