Biogas / Biomethane
According to the statistical report 2015 from EBA, the number of biogas and biomethane plants in Europe is increasing each year, and in 2015 there are 17,376 biogas plants and 459 biomethane plants.
In 2011 as much as 80% of the world’s overall energy supply of 12 billion tons per year was derived from fossil fuels, and biomass resources cover around 10%-15% of this demand. This condition makes biomass by far the most important renewable energy. Moreover, a gas vehicle can drive further with one hectare of land used for biomethane production than with the production of any other biofuel including advanced biofuels. And there is no need for developing new costly technologies since biomethane-fueled vehicles, unlike electric vehicles, can fully profit from existing facilities provided by the natural gas infrastructure.
“Currently the total biogas production in Europe corresponds to about 14 billion m3 in natural gas equivalent. The level of biogas production foreseen for 2020 in the National Renewable Energy Action Plans is about 28 billion m3 in natural gas equivalent. EBA expects that substantially higher volumes of biogas will be produced in 2020 without any negative impact on food and feed production on cultivated land. In fact, crop rotation and recycling of the nutrients and organic matter through digestate even improve the overall productivity of farms. The consumption of natural gas as vehicle fuel is currently at around 2-3 billion m3 level. NGVA predicts this to be increased to 10-15 billion m3 by 2020 (reaching 5% market share in the transport sector). If only 3.5- 5.4% of biogas would be upgraded to motor fuel quality in 2020, this volume would be enough for reaching 10% renewable share in CNG/LNG vehicle fuel consumption or 0.5% share in total transport energy consumption.” (Excerpt from EBA Biomethane Factsheet)
Renewable gas is all gases from renewable sources including biogas and biomethane. Biogas is a gaseous product from organic matters breakdown processes in the absence of oxygen, which is also known as anaerobic digestion. It consists mainly of carbon dioxide and methane. The biogas can then be used for power generation, heating and cooling needs or piped into the natural gas grid. Biomethane is an upgraded biogas, whose chemical composition is identical to natural gas. Therefore, it can be used for the same application as natural gas. There are also some other renewable gases, for example P2G (Power to Gas), a technology that converts electrical power to a fuel gas.