EBA: EU biomethane production scale-up has €18 billion in pipeline
Launching the 1st EBA Investment Outlook on Biomethane yesterday (5 June), it said the investments make additional whole-system benefits available to society, worth up to €7.9 billion per year (a figure calculated with results from the report “Beyond energy – monetizing biomethane’s whole-system benefits” (February 2023)).
Matching policies, stable framework conditions and pathways for long term end-use is critical to secure the announced capital injection, added the EBA.
Following the announcement of the REPowerEU target 1 year ago, the EBA estimated that reaching 35 bcm of sustainable biomethane production will require an investment effort of €83 billion by 2030 depending on plant size, location and type of sustainable feedstock.
“The first edition of the EBA Investment Outlook on Biomethane shows these efforts are taking shape: €4.1 billion will be invested in the coming 2 years, €12.4 billion by 2030 and €1 extra billion has been allocated with no specific timeframe. The EBA outlook will be regularly updated as investments ramp-up,” explained Mieke Decorte, EBA’s technical and project manager.
Investments are mostly located in France (€1.4 billion) and Italy (€1.1 billion) thanks to favourable conditions in those Member States.
They are followed by the Netherlands (€951 million), Spain (€948 million), Germany (€658 million), Sweden (€635 million) and Poland (€429 million), said the EBA.
Additionally, €5.5 billion of capital injection will stay in the EU with final destination still open and €3.3 billion will target non-EU territories, including the UK and Ukraine.
Tuning in the EU Taxonomy with the REPowerEU objectives for biomethane will steer capital flows into the sector, as investors indicate compliance with the specific EU regulation on sustainable finance is key to leverage green investments.
A harmonised EU-wide cross-border trading system is of great importance as well, especially for unsubsidised projects.
The use of biogenic CO2 to replace products based on CO2 of fossil origin is included in the majority of business plans analysed. The importance of biogenic CO2 in offsetting CO2 of fossil origin is often underestimated, according to the EBA. However; efforts should be made to assess its value fairly, it added. One of the highlighted uses of biogenic CO2 is the production of green synthetic methane (using green hydrogen), which could add substantial volumes of sustainable green gas into the energy system.