Dena developed the GreenGasGrids project in cooperation with 12 international project partners and with the support of the EU Commission. The aim of the project was to boost the market development of biogas feed-in and to contribute to an increase in biomethane production throughout the EU. GreenGasGrids is aimed at both private market players and the public sector in EU countries with biomethane activities.
GreenGasGrids was launched in June 2011 and ran for a period of three years. As a driving force in the definition of framework conditions for feeding biogas into the natural gas network, the project addressed unresolved issues in the biomethane field: the project’s work focused on sustainability, technical standards, political targets and trade. With its sector-specific approach, GreenGasGrids supplemented the efforts of the EU Commission and the German Federal Government to boost biogas feed-in market development.
In contrast to other renewable energy sources, biomethane can be produced and utilised as required. Due to its flexible use ranging from power generation to heat generation and utilisation as fuel, biomethane makes an important contribution towards the stabilisation of our energy system. Hence, the development of the biomethane markets plays a major role for our future energy supply.
Regulatory framework: Boosting the use of bioenergy is high up on the political agenda of the EU member states. In the context of ambitious targets calling for a 20 percent share of renewable energy and a 10 percent share of biofuels by 2020, biomass strategies were developed that increasingly involve the promotion of biogas feed-in. Biogas and biomethane will make a substantial contribution towards achieving these targets. Owing to its efficient and flexible utilisation for power and heat generation as well as for transport purposes, biomethane is gaining importance throughout the EU both at the business and the political level. In the context of the national renewable energy action plans, the EU Commission has obliged all member states to disclose the measures they are taking to promote the feed-in of biogas.
Key project aims: Some EU member states, such as Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Austria, have been utilising treated biogas for years. Suitable support mechanisms have already been established. Other EU countries are following suit and are implementing their own measures. However, despite widespread economic and political will to increase biomethane production, the market development is falling short of its potential. This is predominantly due to a lack of national legislation and technical standards, low-level cooperation among the players involved and transnational trade barriers for biomethane. The aim of the GreenGasGrids project was to address these market impediments and make a significant contribution towards increasing biomethane production throughout the EU.
Project results: The GreenGasGrids project succeeded in advising and supporting European market stakeholders in such a way that they invested € 288 million in 24 biogas feeding systems in seven EU member states. This allowed the project consortium to advance the European biomethane market significantly in the last three years, and network many stakeholders such as plant engineering companies, dealers, energy supply companies, scientists and political decision-makers internationally. The programme provided information regarding the market potential of biomethane throughout the EU and supported the successful implementation of biomethane projects.
However, there is still room for a considerable biomethane expansion on the European market. By 2030, biomethane’s share of the natural gas market could be increased from its current level of roughly 0.1 percent to three percent. This is indicated by the roadmap published on completion of the GreenGasGrids project – which also shows how this goal can be reached. To maximise utilisation of the biomethane potential in Europe, the EU member states must in particular formulate specific biomethane goals and cooperate internationally. That is the only way to harmonise the qualities and standards for biomethane in the future and to reduce barriers to trade.
In particular the international cooperation between the national biomethane registration bodies in Europe could be improved. For example, with the support of the stakeholders in the GreenGasGrids project, the registration bodies from Germany, Austria, Denmark, France, Switzerland and Great Britain are working towards signing a Letter of Intent (Lol). That is intended to create the framework conditions for information sharing by the national registers.
www.greengasgrids.eu (in English)