Biomethane potential revealed in new report

Biomethane’s potential to replace natural gas has been analysed in a new report from IEA Bioenergy.

As well as looking at the available substrates and technologies for green gas production, the report analyses the logistic demands of injecting green gas into existing gas grid infrastructure.

According to the IEA Bioenergy Task 37 study, there are ‘good opportunities for cross-border trade and to create a market for biomethane, thus lowering dependency on fossil fuels.’

IEA Bioenergy is an organisation set up by the International Energy Agency (IEA) with the aim of improving cooperation and information exchange between countries that have national programmes in bioenergy research, development and deployment.

A key argument of the report is that decarbonising the gas supply will be crucial to meeting greenhouse gas reductions targets.

“There is potential for a reduction in natural gas demand as an overall percentage of energy demand but to satisfy greenhouse gas reduction targets this gas will have to be decarbonised,” the conclusion to the report states.

“Thus it is not essential to create a resource equivalent to present natural gas demand but to ensure those sectors, which will continue to use natural gas, use decarbonised gas.”

The report includes detailed case studies of several countries, looking at the potential they have for the future production of green gas. It finds that biomethane could meet 26% of current natural gas demand in Ireland, 24% in the Netherlands, 8% in the UK, 44% in Italy and 75% in Denmark.

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