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EBA: Monetary value of biomethane “far outweighs” production costs

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A new report from the European Biogas Association (EBA) shows that, in 2030, the whole-system benefits of biomethane production in the EU27 and the UK could range from €38-78 billion per year, rising to €133-283bn by 2050. These figures are comparable to the GDPs of Luxembourg and Finland in 2021 respectively. Values represented are likely an underestimate, as not all externalities were quantified, according to the research.
The study, Beyond energy: monetising biomethane’s whole system benefits, shows that anaerobic digestion (AD) could deliver an additional benefit of €84-175/MWh of biomethane produced, while thermal gasification could deliver an additional €80-162/MWh. These benefits outweigh the current cost of producing biomethane through these technologies (€55-100/MWh for AD and thermal gasification respectively).
Currently, producers of biomethane are primarily rewarded for contributing to renewable energy targets via support or market-based mechanisms, said EBA. The additional positive externalities that biomethane production delivers are currently not fully rewarded or recognised by society at large, it added.
The study launched today (14 February), undertaken by Guidehouse, has quantified the value of these benefits for a selection of sustainable feedstocks relevant for AD and thermal gasification biomethane production technologies. The reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, such as the recovery of biogenic CO2 during the production process, is a key value driver. Energy security, job creation and waste processing are also playing an increasingly significant role over the next few decades.
“This report sheds light on the added value of biomethane for our society, beyond renewable energy provision. The biomethane industry, policy makers and regulators need to work closely together to fully realise these benefits, prioritizing organic waste and residue feedstocks, incentivising sustainable agricultural production and valorising biomethane co-products (digestate and biogenic CO2),” said Giulia Cancian, EBA secretary general.

 






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