Saturday, February 03, 2018

IADAB News - Edition 14 - Biomethane Developments + New UK RHI Scheme Update

Date: 4 February 2018: This is Issue 14 of the IADAB News Weekly, where we summarise the news of the week in the fast developing Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Industry.
Image shows: Biogas News plus Anaerobic Digestion News

This week we are focusing on events in the biogas plants which upgrade their raw biogas and sell it as biomethane.

First we include news from the Dutch that the first biomethane has been injected into the gas grid at the Microferm project in Deurningen (NL).

Second, California is moving toward adopting the European Model of biomethane production and gas grid injection of the output with the news that 5 pilot projects will go ahead to identify a largely untapped energy resource, and put organic waste to work for California. This is an exciting first step to building the market for renewable natural gas in the US state.

Third, and the most exciting, given the prospect that another huge biogas feedstock source "straw" is now looking possible to add to the rising number of waste biomass sources which can be disposed of, while also producing renewable energy. 
A happy woman is pleased about producing biogas and biomethane from straw.

Yes! Biomethane from only straw! 

The new VERBIO technology makes it possible to leverage a massive potential raw material source which has been unused to date.

Next, we feature our video on the AnaerobicDigestion YuTube Channel where we explain "What is a Biogas Upgrade? and purification of biogas to biomethane.

Followed by a reminder that RTFC Price Information within the anaerobic digestion and biogas industry is now available from markets expert Energy Census [RE]fuel (currently at no charge).

UK Biomethane and the Long Awaited New RHI Scheme

Image illustrates our Update on the UK government's RHI Scheme.
UK biomethane progress has been almost halted throughout 2017, with only 2 new projects started. The reason is the delay in issuing the new Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) rules, with the promised improved incentive rates for biogas plants making biomethane.

The New RHI was expected in March 2017, but it was delayed due to a drafting error and then due to the snap UK government General Election in June.

The new RHI is now expected to be announced during the current quarter. Expert John Baldwin predicts 30 to 40 UK biomethane projects in the next 2 to 3 years, subject to the life of the RHI when the announcement is made.

Alright, let’s get started… (Scroll down for each extract and use the links to the full articles on each of the individual websites.)

The following is our intro video. Watch the intro video below, for a taster of what you will read if you scroll down below the video:

1 - First biomethane injected into gas grid at Microferm project in Deurningen (NL)

The first biomethane was injected into the Dutch national gas grid on Friday December 22 at the Microferm project ‘Broekhuis Koegas’ in Deurningen in the Netherlands. The installation produces 40 Nm3 biomethane per hour. HoSt is turn-key supplier of the installation.
via First biomethane injected into gas grid at Microferm project in Deurningen (NL)

California Utilities Issue Draft Solicitation for Dairy Biomethane Pilot Projects

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and Southwest Gas jointly issued a draft solicitation yesterday for dairy biomethane pilot projects under California Senate Bill (SB) 1383. Proposed projects must demonstrate an ability to capture and process biogas from dairy cows to produce renewable natural gas, which can replace traditionally sourced natural gas for generating electricity, heating homes and fueling vehicles. At least five projects will be selected.
The draft solicitation is the first step in a new program created under SB 1383 by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), which has been directed to reduce methane emissions from agriculture in the state by 2030.
"This is an exciting first step to building the market for renewable natural gas," said Lisa Alexander, vice president of customer solutions and communications for SoCalGas. "Renewable natural gas, with its ability to turn methane emissions into a source of energy, is a critical element of a comprehensive approach to climate change, and we look forward to supporting these efforts."
"The capture of biogas from agriculture is an innovative way to produce renewable natural gas to fuel our homes and businesses while helping achieve the state's climate goals," said Michael Schneider, chief environmental officer and vice president of operations support and sustainability for SDG&E. "These pilot projects will help us identify a largely untapped energy resource and put organic waste to work for California."
via California Utilities Issue Draft Solicitation for Dairy Biomethane Pilot Projects

Biomethane from only straw? | European Bioenergy Day

Through the support of the European Union, VERBIO Vereinigte BioEnergie AG has developed an innovative production plant for biomethane that is manufactured from 100% straw. VERBIO  has reached the first project milestone on schedule, feeding the first gigawatt hours of biomethane generated from 100% straw since October 2014 into the local natural gas network operated by Stadtwerke Schwedt. “Straw bio-methane technology is a clear demonstration that second generation biofuels using local supply chains are no longer a thing of the future, but are today’s reality,” commented Dr. L├╝dtke, Chairman of the Management Board of VERBIO AG.

VERBIO AG has been the operator of two large biomethane plants since 2011, each with a capacity of 30 MW. These plants produce approximately 480 GWh of biomethane from distillation slop, a waste raw material by-product generated from bioethanol production, with the resulting biomethane used as biofuel for vehicles powered by natural gas. With the volume produced VERBIO supplies more than 100 of the 900 natural gas fuel stations in Germany, making it the unchallenged market leader in this segment.
The new plant, also developed internally, is based on mono straw fermentation technology. The plant will be extended to reach 16,5 MW capacity by the year 2019, generating 140 gigawatt hours of biomethane annually for sale as biofuel from approximately 40.000 tons of straw. To date, EUR 25 million has already been invested in the construction of the plant. Further amounts will be invested in the coming years to optimise the plant. The straw used to fuel the plant is gathered within a radius of 80km of the plant to ensure maximum economic and ecological efficiency. In exchange, the fermentation waste is provided to farmers as organic fertiliser. This local production chain creates employment in the region’s agricultural sector and ensures maximum CO2 efficiency.
The new VERBIO technology makes it possible to leverage a massive potential raw material source which has been unused to date. In Germany alone, an annual quantity of between 8 and 13 million tons of straw that could be used to manufacture bioenergy currently remain unused according to a study by the DBFZ (German biomass research center). This energy quantity represents the fuel required annually by more than 5 million motor cars. via Biomethane from only straw?

Spanish company unveils innovative project to produce biomethane

Valoriza Agua is executing the Smart • Met • Value research project to obtain a renewable and local biofuel through biogas production processes that take place in the wastewater treatment plants (WWTP).
The project, which is being carried out in the WWTP that Valoriza Agua manages in Guadalajara, consists of the design of a cleaning system for the biogas that is generated in the anaerobic digestion processes that take place in these facilities to obtain a biomethane with quality for its network injection and other uses such as transport. With HAM technology, the company already offers supply of this renewable fuel to vehicles.
The Smart • Met • Value includes four differentiated technological goals: development of a gas absorption model for biogas; development of a methane purification technology of high efficiency but with energy consumption significantly lower than currently used, obtaining a prototype for the mixing of gases, obtaining biomethane that complies with the current regulations (PD001).
via Spanish company unveils innovative project to produce biomethane

What is a Biogas Upgrade? Purification to Biomethane

The biomethane produced with biogas upgrading technology has the same specifications as natural gas, which makes it fully compatible to the existing natural gas infrastructure and applications. Optionally, the CO2 by-product can be recovered for use in a variety of applications.
via What is a Biogas Upgrade? Purification to Biomethane

Bio-fuel Market Prices - 3 Reasons UK Biomethane Producers Watch Them

Like it or not, biogas and especially biomethane producers should start to take a keen interest in Bio-fuel Market Prices, and here is our list of 3 reasons why.
“UK Biomethane producers and potential “biogas-plant to biomethane upgraders”, should be watching bio-fuel market prices closely.”
That’s because many foresee big gains in the prices they will in future be likely to get for biomethane sold with an associated RTFC certificate into the road transport fuel market.
RTFC Price Information within the anaerobic digestion and biogas industry is now available from markets expert Energy Census [RE]fuel (currently at no charge), which already indicates that for much of 2017, producers could obtain something of the order of magnitude of double the payment per kg which is commonly obtained from selling it now into the heat market.
via Bio-fuel Market Prices 3 Reasons UK Biomethane Producers Watch Them

We hope you found this week's anaerobic digestion news informative.
We will now be publishing on a weekly basis again. Watch out for next week's news!

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