This projected production level surpasses 30% of the EU's total gas consumption in 2022.

By Shardul Sharma

The European Biogas Association (EBA) on April 16 announced the release of a new report by Guidehouse that forecasts a significant increase in biomethane production across Europe. The report estimates that Europe could produce about 111bn m3/year of biomethane by 2040.

This projected production level surpasses 30% of the EU's total gas consumption in 2022, underscoring the immense potential of biomethane as a renewable gas source. Biomethane plays a critical role in the European Union's (EU) ambitions to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, EBA said.

Via the REPowerEU plan, the European Commission has set a target to produce 35bn m3/year of biomethane in the EU by 2030, representing a ten-fold increase of biomethane production today.

Presently, Europe produces 4bn m3/year of biomethane, with newly built plants and upgraded biogas units driving growth. Raw biogas production, primarily used in combined heat and power plants, stands at 17bn m3/year.

The 2040 biomethane potential outlined in the Guidehouse report includes 75bn m3 from anaerobic digestion (AD) and 37bn m3 from thermal gasification. Leading producers in 2040 are projected to include Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Poland, and the UK.

Moreover, an update to the Gas for Climate study suggests that Europe could produce up to 44bn m3/year of biomethane by 2030 and 165bn m3/year by 2050. 

According to the report, additional potential could be unlocked from novel feedstocks such as crops grown on marginal or contaminated lands, seaweed and digestate, as well as through the application of novel technologies such as hydrothermal gasification and renewable methane. In addition, landfill gas can further increase the potential in the short to medium term. 

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