The European Union faces an energy crisis due to its dependence on fossil fuels: it only produces about 15% of the gas it needs and 15 member states import over 90% of their gas. This situation seems alarming, but biogas can play a relevant role in solving this problem. Our project partner ABS-int has elaborated a market analysis report that reveals the opportunities for biogas to become an important energy source in Europe.

The current biogas production is at a promising growth rate. During 2022, the sector provided 18,4 billion cubic metres (bcm) of renewable gas. It is expected to increase to 167 bcm by 2050, which means that biogas will cover 62% of gas demand, fulfilling the European Commission’s REPowerEU requirements of producing 35 bcm of biomethane, the purified form of raw biogas, by 2030.

The number of plants in Europe has increased over the years, reaching more than 17.000 biogas production plants in 2020, compared with 6.507 plants a bit over a decade ago in 2009. Germany accounts for half of the total production in the EU, and is anticipated to remain the leader along with Sweden in developing, operating, and producing biogas. Biomethane production has also grown. In 2021 there were a bit over a thousand production plants of biomethane, with France, the Netherlands and Denmark at the forefront with the most plants.

Biogas production relies on the availability of organic waste, but there will be enough sustainable feedstocks to ensure production. At this moment, the most common sources of biogas feedstocks are agricultural (animal manure, crop residues, food waste), responsible for 63% of biogas and 53% of biomethane raw material. Calculations predict that crop residues and forest wood could provide around 45% of all feedstocks by 2050. 

When it comes to prices, biogas has no rival. The production of this energy source based on anaerobic digestion can start at 50€/MWh, meaning it is up to a third cheaper than natural gas, which, at the time of the analysis, was set at around 80€/MWh. The production costs of other related renewable energies, such as green hydrogen and thermal gasification, start at 70 and 90€/MWh, respectively. Despite the ongoing fluctuation of natural gas prices, the market state of 2022 demonstrated the economic necessity to develop biogas technology further

Although biogas is foreseen to replace natural gas, both are currently being used in combination as fuel for vehicles and to produce electricity. The development will continue this way, progressively reducing the use of natural gas, and guaranteeing a more natural and cost-effective transition towards complete fossil fuel independence.

With all the facts on the table, biogas proves to be one of the most powerful renewable energies that can push Europe towards energy self-sufficiency. At Micro4Biogas, we work to make the anaerobic digestion process more efficient and cost-effective to achieve these goals.

You can read the full market analysis report here.

Published On: June 12, 2023

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