Biomethane may be route for decarbonizing Europe’s gas markets

Biomethane can help decarbonize Europe’s gas markets, but continued growth depends on policy support, Wood Mackenzie said this week.

According to analysts Graham Freedman and Nnenna Amobi, the carbon-neutral renewable gas can be directly injected into existing natural gas infrastructure and decarbonize the heating and transport sectors.

That’s because biomethane is a purified form of biogas, with close enough properties of conventional natural gas. It can be compressed in the form of CNG or liquefied as bio-LNG, Kallanish Energy reports.

The fuel offers Europe a relatively simple route to decarbonization of some sectors, other than using hydrogen, carbon capture and storage (CCS) and electrification.

The continent is the largest producer of biomethane in the world, with Germany, UK, Italy, France and Sweden leading the way. Yet, a robust policy support is vital to enable growth.

Last year Europe’s gas demand reached 514 billion cubic meters (Bcm), while biomethane production reached 2 Bcm.

“Europe currently hosts a patchwork of mechanisms that lack clarity and keep changing,” the analysts said in a new report. “Large differences in approach could make major investment into the sector more difficult for multi-national companies, compared to other renewable developments.”

Another imminent challenge is the focus of the European Green Deal on the development of hydrogen projects, which could compete with biomethane for future financial and political support.

Biomethane is produced by upgrading biogas, which is obtained through the anaerobic digestion of organic matters, such as food waste, manure and crops.

This post appeared first on Kallanish Energy News.