Europe reached a total of 1,322 biomethane-producing facilities by April 2023, according to the Biomethane Map, jointly published by the European Biogas Association (EBA) and Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE).
There are 299 new plants, which represent nearly 30 per cent more than the ones reported in the previous edition of this map in 2021.
“Biomethane production has enjoyed a remarkable growth in the last decade and this upwards trend goes on with a nearly 30 per cent increase in the number of biomethane plants compared to the previous edition of this map,” said Harmen Dekker, EBA’s CEO. “This is a strong signal on the efforts of the industry to scale up production and push for further acceleration to reach the 35 billion cubic metres (bcm) target by 2030 proposed by the European Commission in the REPowerEU plan.”
“Gas infrastructure operators are determined to support the European Commission’s vision to upscale the biomethane economy,” added Boyana Achovski, GIE Secretary General. “We acknowledge our mission to connect producers to consumers and will ensure that biomethane’s exponential growth keeps thriving. Already today, we store and transport biomethane. It’s good to open the door for more renewable molecules to integrate Europe’s energy system. More biomethane produced at the European level is also good news for EU’s energy independence.”
Overall, Europe is already producing over 3.5 bcm of biomethane. This represents a production increase rate of 20 per cent in 2021. An even bigger increase is expected for 2022 where, despite consolidated data not being disclosed, estimations confirm a significant rise in the number of plants and production shares.
Additionally, the data collected for the preparation of this map shows that over 75 per cent of the current plants are already connected to the transport or distribution grids. Regarding feedstock use, a clear trend towards agricultural residues, organic municipal solid waste, and sewage sludge is visible. From 2017, almost no new plants were established to run on mono-crops.
The countries with the strongest growth in their biomethane production in 2021 were France (+2,130 gigawatt-hours, GWh), Denmark (+1,642 GWh) and Germany (+1,553 GWh). In absolute numbers, the largest producers of biomethane in 2021 were Germany (12,753 GWh), the United Kingdom (6,183 GWh), Denmark (5,683 GWh), France (4,337 GWh), the Netherlands (2,374 GWh) and Italy (2,246 GWh).