One of the objectives of the European Commission included in REPowerEU is to increase the production of biomethane to 35 billion m3 by 2030. The increased production and use of this biogas are the most climate-friendly and promising solutions in the gas sector.

European green gas market

According to the World Biogas Association, biomethane could replace 26 to 37% of the world’s natural gas consumption, which translates to between 993 and 1380 billion m3.

Europe is leading the way in this field, with over 1200 biomethane plants already operational. France is the frontrunner in Europe, with 365 plants in operation in 2021. The country plans to obtain at least 10% of its gas from renewable sources by 2030. Germany, on the other hand, had 232 biomethane plants capable of generating 1.3 billion m3 per year as of May 2021. 

The Austrian government also intends to expand the “blue fuel” volume by 2030 with biomethane, which is supposed to make up 11%. The Danish ambitions in this regard are even bigger. At the moment, Denmark has 54 biomethane plants. By 2030, they will cover 100% of gas demand.

Big biogas potential in Poland

According to the GasForClimateReport, Poland has the potential to generate approximately 8 billion m3 of biomethane per year, making it one of the top five EU countries in terms of biomethane capacity. Biomethane may cover up to 60% of the national natural gas demand.

The development of the biogas sector is a response to the need to increase the RES share in the Polish energy mix, with a particular focus on biomethane, as a stable and weather-independent energy source. Investments in this resource may accelerate the transformation of the energy and gas sectors, make the gas network in Poland greener and enable independence from the import of fossil gas.

Although the Polish biogas sector has a big potential, it is one of the smaller sectors in Europe. At the moment, we can ensure reliable transport in distribution and transmission networks and combustion in conventional gas turbines. Despite the technical feasibility, there are no operational biomethane plants at the moment due to issues with the legislation. The absence of suitable legal regulations is still the primary barrier to the development of the RES market in Poland.

Expected changes in the gas sector

The Polish Biomethane Organization, comprising industry experts and representatives of leading energy, fuel, and district heating groups in the Polish market, has announced good news. 

The CEO of the organization, Michał Tarka, believes that 2023 presents an opportunity for Poland to move away from Russian fossil fuels and embrace sustainable and renewable energy sources, including biomethane

The Organization positively assesses the progress of work on the amendment of the RES Act. This refers to the draft of an act concerning the facilitation of the preparation and implementation of agricultural biogas plant projects. The special biogas act is intended to facilitate the development of biogas plant projects by simplifying the administrative procedure concerning the zoning requirements, the approval of the building permit design and the issue of permits.

The changes also address the use of the post-fermentation product, which will be possible to place on the market or sell without the need for a specific administrative decision. Other changes intended to facilitate the process are also supposed to concern the requirements for the connection of agricultural biogas plants to the network. 

Sylwia Bartołd