European Biogas Association releases biogas, biomethane report

By Katie Fletcher | February 02, 2016

The European Biogas Association published its Biogas and Biomethane Report 2015, the fifth edition of this annual statistical report on the European anaerobic digestion industry and markets. The report reflects the record-high growth in the number of plants and production in Europe.

The report states that there were 17,240 biogas plants, with a total installed capacity of 8,293 MW, in Europe at the end of 2014. “This is a remarkable number, especially when realizing that it represents 18-percent growth,” saidDr. Jan Štambaský, EBA president. In the case of certain countries, growth has soared. The U.K. doubled the number of its biogas plants in one year. The 17,240 biogas plants reported at the end of 2014 is up from 10,433 reported in 2010.

The report clarifies that although cumulatively Europe has experienced significant growth, the rise in the number of plants hasn’t been evenly distributed throughout all European countries. On one hand, countries haven’t commissioned any new plants and have seen only minor developments, including locations such as Austria, Czech Republic and Hungary. On the other hand, there are European countries that have increased their biogas market with a substantial number of new biogas installations, like the U.K., France and Belgium to name a few.

National associations and third-party observers quantify the total amount of electricity produced from biogas at 63.3 terawatt-hours (TWh), which corresponds to the annual consumption of 14.6 million European households.

Along with the increases in the biogas sector, a steady increase was also documented in the biomethane sector, with 87 new biogas upgrading units commissioned. Štambaský said, “Development of biomethane industry shows outstanding results with 367 plants, a 23 percent increase compared to 2013.”

The 367 biomethane AD plants in Europe have a total upgrading capacity of 310,000 cubic meters per hour of raw biogas. Germany leads the growth rate with 178 plants, followed by Sweden with 59 and then the U.K. at 37. Although Sweden remains a small consumer of gas, the report states that the country has placed itself as the “European front runner in biomethane production and especially the use of biomethane in transport.” According to EBA’s findings, Sweden dedicated 78 percent of its 1,303 gigawatt-hour (GWh) production to fuel almost 50,000 vehicles.

EBA believes the numbers found in the report reflect “a clear development in Europe, showing that the biogas industry is a mature one, capable of withstanding less profitable times while able to successfully seek for opportunities in the meantime.” According to the EBA, it can be expected that positive trends will continue in the short future.

The Biogas Report 2015 is available free of charge for members at the EBA website’s members’ area. The report is also available for purchase by contacting the EBA secretariat.