Biogas and Biomethane in Europe: Lessons from Denmark, Germany and Italy

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Publication Date April 2019
ISBN 979-10-373-0025-6
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At a time when the European Union (EU) is discussing its long-term climate strategy and drafting new legislation to foster the decarbonization of its gas sector, a close look at the experience of Denmark, Germany and Italy with renewable gas production can provide valuable lessons.

For more than a decade, these three countries have supported biogas technologies and developed support schemes to facilitate their large-scale deployment. They have more recently focused on developing their biomethane potential.

Committed to reaching carbon neutrality by 2050 and facing the depletion of its gas fields in the North Sea, Denmark has a clear interest in making biogas and biomethane central pillars of its future smart energy system. Likewise, Germany’s 'Energiewende' and its focus on renewable-based electricity generation has led to a robust development of biogas plants with onsite electricity conversion and satellite Combined Heat & Power (CHP) units. This way, Germany became – by far – the largest biogas producing country in the EU, with about 105 000 direct jobs in its bioenergy sector. In Italy, the high availability of agricultural feedstock and the widespread use of gas in transport activities have also been strong arguments in favour of biogas production and the upgrade into biomethane, to facilitate the achievement of the renewables expansion target for the transport sector and reduce the country’s CO2 emissions.

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