Berlin, 28.11.19

Biomethane utilization accelerating in the transport sector

Usage of biomethane in the Germany as a transportation fuel is slowly picking up speed. This is clearly demonstrated by rising sales figures and rapid growth in new registrations of CNG vehicles. The binding obligation from 2021 for Member States to introduce minimum quotas for biofuels from waste and residues is a consequence of upcoming national implementation of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II). The latest changes in the European regulation will be perceived by the biogas industry as a signal that sets the course for the future. The biogas sector expects demand for biomethane from substrates with low to negative greenhouse gas potential to increase. Biomethane’s high GHG reduction efficiency and the increase from 4 to 6 per cent of the greenhouse gas reduction requirements from 2020 are likely to contribute to this.

Despite the essentially positive mood among biomethane producers, the number of new projects remains relatively limited. The reason for this is unwieldy legal provisions, which constrain investment. The conference, with the presentations in the parallel forum “Biomethane in the Transport Sector - An International Perspective”, offers an ideal platform to learn from the experience in other markets by discussing regulatory and technical developments.

Matthias Kerner, bmp greengas GmbH, addresses the sustainability advantages of biomethane compared to other fuels in his lecture “The role of biomethane for tomorrow’s climate-friendly mobility” and presents its high emission reduction potential as the factor that gives biomethane a competitive edge. The full impact of this strength will become apparent at the latest when the RED II is transposed into national law.

Italy and France are good examples of how biomethane can become established on the fuel market. These countries have enormous potential to mobilise biomethane, as well as good infrastructure, and have provided the requisite legal framework for market access. Jean-Marie Gauthey, Gaz Réseau Distribution France (GRDF) and Lorenzo Maggioni, Consorzio Italiano Biogas (CIB) report on the evolution of biomethane expansion in these countries. The milestones that have been achieved, national incentive mechanisms and market prospects for biomethane will be presented in detail.         

Biomethane as a fuel will be used in both physical states: in gaseous form and also in liquid one as bio-LNG. Bio-LNG is characterized by its high energy density, which makes its utilization in long-haul traffic and shipping especially attractive. Anouk van Grinsven, CE Delft, describes biomethane’s contribution to reducing emissions, particularly in the maritime sector. She presents the results of years of research in cooperation with the Port of Rotterdam.

The forum “Biomethane in the Transport Sector - An International Perspective” provides in-depth insights into successes in the leading biomethane markets in recent years and addresses future-oriented applications such as bio-LNG against the backdrop of changing legal framework requirements facing the mobility sector.