The European Biogas Association (EBA) has participated in a research on the state of play of the biomethane market in Europe. The report provides a general European overview, together with an in-depth mapping at country level of 23 European countries covered by the REGATRACE project. The study shows that the countries with the biggest production of biomethane are Germany (10,018 GWh in 2018), United Kingdom (3,300 GWh in 2018), the Netherlands (2,226 GWh in 2018), Denmark (1,425 GWh in 2017), Sweden (1,281 GWh in 2018) and France (1,207 GWh).
The production and consumption of biomethane is well-balanced in most Member States. Denmark and Germany produce more biomethane than they consume, and the excess of production is exported or stored. In Sweden, the consumption of biomethane doubles its production. This can be explained because Swedish incentives are focused on the consumption side, whereas most Member states tend to subsidize the production or injection.
End-use pathways for biomethane are quite clearly defined and regulated in some countries. In Sweden and Italy, the main end-use application is transport, whereas in the United Kingdom is heating & cooling. Most of Sweden’s biomethane is used in the transport sector due to a favorable support system. In Italy, the use of biomethane as vehicle fuel is facilitated by the already existing infrastructure and NGV fleet. In 2014, the Italian government introduced the first obligation for the use of biofuels in the transport sector.
In Germany, most biomethane is used for electricity production in CHP units. The usage of biomethane as transport fuel is indirectly supported in Germany through its inclusion into the list of fuels accepted for the reduction of GHG footprint for fuel distributing companies.
The study also examines consumer readiness to pay for biomethane. A choice experiment has allowed to monetize individual aspects or characteristics of the renewable gas and predict consumer preferences. The experiment shows that GHG emission reductions compared to natural gas are the aspect of the renewable gas which has the highest impact on consumers’ choice (29%), followed by additional cost compared to natural gas (27%), origin of the renewable gas (17%) and its reliable delivery (14%).