Biogas Trends for 2019 and Predicted Developments in the Anaerobic Digestion Industry in Europe
The European Biogas Association (EBA) has predicted the biogas trends for 2019, taking into account current EU priorities, and the technical developments in the sector.
Trend 1. Biogas growth to continue in electricity, heat and especially biomethane production.In June 2018 the EU institutions agreed on a new Renewable Energy Directive for the next decade, including a legally-binding EU-wide target of 32% for renewable energy by 2030.
The European biogas sector had a total of 17,783 biogas plants and an electricity production of 65,179 GWhr in 2017.
In Europe it will be the number of biomethane plants (which upgrade biogas to biomethane) with grid-injection and biomethane liquification, which will continue to grow fastest.
Biomethane plant numbers have already risen from 187 plants in 2011, up to a total of 540 plants in 2017, in the most recent data available.
Trend 2. More efficient added-value will be extracted by generating income from the whole biogas production process.Currently, anaerobic digestion (AD) plants are mainly considered to be energy producers (electricity, heat and biomethane).
There are many more benefits of AD, which are not yet fully exploited to produce financial revenues.
Anaerobic digestion can be used to produce organic fertilizers and help save GHG emissions, process organic waste and act as a very flexible source of renewable energy.
Trend 3. Integration into the EU circular economyThe main expected trend for the biogas and biomethane sectors in the upcoming years will be a better integration into the EU circular economy.
Digestate, the output of the digestion process, is an example of this trend.
It will become more widely accepted and used as organic fertilizer.
Thereby, replacing the energy-intensive production of traditional non-renewable sourced fertilizers.
In this regard it is notable that the European Parliament, Council and Commission recently agreed upon the "Fertilizing Products Regulation", which will open the market for organic fertilizers.
Trend 4. There will be moves toward seasonal biogas energy storageAs the share of renewables and intermittent energy sources grows in Europe, the demand for flexible energy production is increasing. Biogas and biomethane will be likely to be stored to overcome seasonal variations in energy demand.
Trend 5. Better AD Plant local integrationsThe integration of biogas and biomethane plants in their local environment will improve. Plants will take better advantage of location-specific opportunities.
Value-added opportunities from the end-products (CO2-gas, organic fertilizer and CHP) will be better integrated with neighbours.
Making anaerobic digestion facilities a better neighbours, and reducing concerns of local citizens.
For example, the CO2-gas flow that remains after upgrading biogas to biomethane, will more often be used as a nutrient source in nearby horticulture.
It will be delivered in simple underground pipelines, and to be distributed longer distances, the CO2-gas trend will be for increased liquification.
Trend 6. Combined heat and power production (CHP) will rise
Another upcoming trend will be the use of combined heat and power production (CHP) from electric power generation, to meet local heat demands.
Three additional European countries (Belgium, Estonia and Ireland) connected their first biomethane plant to their national gas grid, in 2018.
This resulted in a total number of European biomethane producing countries of 18.
Finally, the "European Renewable Gas Registry" (ERGaR) is working to implement a European-wide administration system which will allow cross-border trade of biomethane.
If successful this is expected to boost the biomethane sector still further.
Source: An interpretation of a European Biogas Association article "Biogas Trends for this Year".
Comments on InterpretationMy main problem in writing the script for this video was understanding the word "valorisation" which is used in the original article.
It is a term with strong left-wing origins and using it is to be very insensitive to the issues surrounding the UK and Brexit.
I think the way it is used is simply an error, probably due to a lack of knowledge of the use of English, during translation from what was probably a German language original text.
With that in mind, I decided to assume that I would follow Wikipedia and defined "valorisation" as a miss-translation of the German word "Verwertung".
The general meaning of "Verwertung" (according to Wikipedia) is the productive use of a resource, and more specifically the use or application of something (an object, process or activity) so that it makes money, or generates value, with the connotation that the thing validates itself and proves its worth when it results in earnings, a yield.
I am sure EBRA would not wish to be seen as a Marxist organisation. I would be interested in the views of others about this.
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