Biogas: Developments and perspectives in Europe

This paper presents an overview of the development and perspectives of biogas in and its use for electricity, heat and in transport in the European Union (EU) and its Member States.

Biogas production has increased in the EU, encouraged by the renewable energy policies, in addition to economic, environmental and climate benefits, to reach 18 billion m3 methane (654 PJ) in 2015, representing half of the global biogas production. The EU is the world leader in biogas electricity production, with more than 10 GW installed and a number of 17,400 biogas plants, in comparison to the global biogas capacity of 15 GW in 2015. In the EU, biogas delivered 127 TJ of heat and 61 TWh of electricity in 2015; about 50% of total biogas consumption in Europe was destined to heat generation.

Europe is said to be a leading producer of biomethane for the use as a vehicle fuel or for injection into the natural gas grid, with 459 plants in 2015 producing 1.2 billion m3 and 340 plants feeding into the gas grid, with a capacity of 1.5million m3. About 697 biomethane filling stations ensured the use 160 million m3 of biomethane as a transport fuel in 2015.

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