Biomethane will deliver 20% of current EU gas imports from Russia by 2030
The Commission’s REPowerEU plan, released on 8 March, marks a decisive step towards the rapid development of Europe’s biomethane industry. In its statement, the Commission said that to boost EU production of biomethane, the REPowerEU plan would aim for 35 billion cubic metres (bcm) of biomethane production by 2030, doubling the current EU ambition, using sustainable biomass sources such as agricultural wastes and residues.
Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, said: “We must become independent from Russian oil, coal and gas. We simply cannot rely on a supplier who explicitly threatens us.
“We need to act now to mitigate the impact of rising energy prices, diversify our gas supply for next winter and accelerate the clean energy transition. The quicker we switch to renewables and hydrogen, combined with more energy efficiency, the quicker we will be truly independent and master our energy system.”
Von der Leyen said she will be discussing the Commission’s proposal with European leaders at Versailles later this week, and working to “swiftly implement them” with her team.
“Europe needs to urgently diversify and reduce its dependence on Russian gas while stepping up on the ambition for the climate targets,” said Harmen Dekker, CEO of the European Biogas Association (EBA).
“The sector is ready to deliver the 35 bcm by 2030 proposed by the EU and calls for the inclusion of this target in the recast of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED III) currently under development.
“Close cooperation between the European Commission, member states and the biomethane value chain will be required to ensure immediate action following today’s proposals. The biomethane target represents over 20% of the current EU gas imports from Russia. By 2050, this potential can triple, growing well over 100 bcm and covering 30-50% of the future EU gas demand.”
The EBA has been working hard to table sustainable biomethane as an essential renewable energy source. In recent months, this work has intensified within the Sustainable Biomethane Initiative, in which the EBA, together with Common Futures and representatives of the biomethane value chain, has started discussions with the European Commission and different EU Member States.
Achieving the target presented by the Commission will require close public-private cooperation to attract capital investments, the EBA noted. The significant increase in biomethane production will secure affordable and sustainable energy for EU citizens and support the resilience of the EU economy.
Dekker added: “Some countries are already active in the development of biomethane production in Europe. Many others are starting to unlock this potential now. Concerted actions across member states will be critical to increase energy security with a scalable green gas in the coming months and years.”