Corn is the most high-yield crop, all the parts of which are widely used in different industries for many purposes, in particular:

  • for food production;
  • as feedstock in pharmaceutical, chemical and other branches of industry;
  • as high-energy fodder that is suitable for all kinds of animals and birds;
  • as raw material for the production of first and second-generation biofuels;
  • as raw material for the production of biogas.

Corn is a crop of high agro-technological value as it cleans soil of weeds and is a good precursor in the crop rotation. Judging by the absorption of carbon dioxide and release of oxygen, corn is one of the best crops and is even more effective than a forest of the same area.

The USA is the world leader in corn production and yields. According to some preliminary data, the production of corn in the USA in 2017/2018 MY was 371.1 Mt (34.5% of the global production), the average yield was 11.1 t/ha. In other countries, the production of corn in 2017/2018 MY was the following: China – about 259 Mt, Brazil – 82 Mt, the EU – 62 Mt, Argentina – 32 Mt, India – 29 Mt, Mexico – 27.5 Mt and Ukraine – 24 Mt (the 7th place in the world). At that, the USDA forecast for Ukraine for 2018/2019 MY is 35.5 Mt, which can bring the country to the 5th place.

Prepared by: Semen Drahniev, Member of the Expert Council of the Bioenergy Association of Ukraine, for the platform of sustainable agribusiness SAF Ukraine.

State of the art of corn production in the world and in Ukraine. Semen Drahniev, The platform of sustainable agribusiness SAF Ukraine. August 21, 2019.

The Bioenergy Association of Ukraine since 2019 is a partner of the platform of sustainable agribusiness SAF Ukraine.

The development of biomethane production is the result of political will and reliable, long-lasting financial support mechanisms and investment subsidies, as biomethane cannot compete with natural gas in today's market conditions. Many European countries have already established mechanisms to support biomethane.
Different countries use different support mechanisms to develop biomethane technologies. These mechanisms operate at different points in the biomethane value chain.

Germany and Sweden were the pioneers in this area. Germany actively used, from 2000 to 2014, a green tariff for electricity from biogas, additional bonuses for enriching biogas to the quality of natural gas and the use of energy crops (corn silage). From the very beginning, Sweden encouraged the use of biomethane as a motor fuel and exempt use of biomethane from carbon and energy taxes.

In recent years, biomethane production has been actively developing in France, Italy, Denmark, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

National support schemes include measures such as Feed-in-Tariffs (FIT) for produced biomethane or produced electricity from biomethane, investment support, quota systems or tax incentives. In addition to financial support, there are incentives in licensing and legal aspects to reduce project risks.

Mechanisms for supporting biomethane production and consumption. Yurij Matveev. The platform of sustainable agribusiness SAF Ukraine. August 15, 2019.

The Bioenergy Association of Ukraine since 2019 is a partner of the platform of sustainable agribusiness SAF Ukraine.

Electricity produced from biomethane can already today be supplied to the grid at a “green” tariff of 0.1239 €/kWh (excluding VAT).

However, the idea of ​​enriching biogas to biomethane is precisely the possibility of pumping it into the natural gas (NG) network.

To create conditions for the use of biomethane from the NG network in the combined production of electricity and heat, it is necessary to create a national register of biomethane with the possibility of issuing certificates of origin, such as European certificates GoO (Guarantee of Origin). In the long term, with such a certificate, virtual trading of biomethane with EU countries is possible.

After the introduction of the biomethane certification system, a gas power plant with the intention of using biomethane can be connected to any location where there is a NG network and a heat consumer (eg boiler, CHP).

Economic prerequisites for the production and use of biomethane in electricity/heat production in Ukraine. Petro Kucheruk. The platform of sustainable agribusiness SAF Ukraine. July 26, 2019.

The Bioenergy Association of Ukraine since 2019 is a partner of the platform of sustainable agribusiness SAF Ukraine.

What is the potential of agro biomass, and what hinders the development of relevant projects in Ukraine?
What agricultural biomass energy projects can be implemented now?
What is the volume of investments and payback period for agro biomass energy production projects in Ukraine?

Read article "Agrarian biomass potential for energy sector: project options for enterprises",Georgii Geletukha – Chairman of the Board of the Bioenergy Association of Ukraine, Tetiana Zheliezna – Member of Auditing Committee of the Bioenergy Association of Ukraine. Monthly Journal "Zhurnal Holovnoho Enerhetyka", 2019, №7 July, p.47-53 (in Ukrainian)

The basic economic prerequisite for the development of the biomethane market is the increased price of fossil fuels, which is formed by additional environmental taxes and excise taxes on fossil fuels.

Comparing the prices of compressed natural gas in different countries of Europe, we can see that the price in Ukraine is one of the lowest in the world and is in the lower price range and is currently 5.37 euro cents/kWh (0.51 €/m³).

The highest price in Sweden is 13.78 euro cents/kWh (1.31 €/m³), ​​one of the leaders in the use of compressed biomethane in transport.

Recall that enriched biogas (biomethane) can be a substitute for various types of motor fuels: compressed natural gas (CNG), gasoline, diesel, liquefied natural gas (LNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Compressed gas installations can be completed with both diesel and gasoline vehicles. Many automakers already have natural gas (CNG) vehicles in their lineup.

Economic prerequisites for the production and use of biomethane as a motor fuel in Ukraine. Petro Kucheruk. The platform of sustainable agribusiness SAF Ukraine. July 26, 2019.

The Bioenergy Association of Ukraine since 2019 is a partner of the platform of sustainable agribusiness SAF Ukraine.

The cost of commercial biomethane has three main components, namely: a) the cost of biogas; b) the cost of enrichment of biogas to biomethane; c) the cost of logistics of produced biomethane.
The biomethane project differs from the producing electricity and heat from biogas project. Instead of the cogeneration unit for the "raw" biogas, a purification plant will operate, whereby the physical and chemical parameters of such biogas will be given to the required GHG supply, or for refueling transport. The result is enriched biogas, which is commonly called biomethane.

Cost of enrichment of biogas to biomethane. Petro Kucheruk. The platform of sustainable agribusiness SAF Ukraine. July 19, 2019.

The Bioenergy Association of Ukraine since 2019 is a partner of the platform of sustainable agribusiness SAF Ukraine.

In early July, Naftogaz called for a full stop to transit natural gas through Ukraine in 2020.

Such a stop poses risks to the supply of gas to consumers in the next heating season and raises the question of reducing the consumption and replacement of gas, in particular in the heat sector.

Without neglecting the importance of energy efficiency and gas savings, let's find out what bioenergy can do, especially if it is transferred from a "permanent barrier" mode to a "development assistance" mode.

Authors of the article for Ekonomichna Pravda: Georgii Geletukha – Chairman of the Board of the Bioenergy Association of Ukraine and Oleksandr Dombrovskyi – First Vice-chairman of the Committee on Fuel and Energy Complex, Nuclear Policy and Nuclear Safety

Read the full article at the link below:

Bioenergy vs stop of the natural gas transit. Ekonomichna Pravda: Georgii Geletukha – Chairman of the Board of the Bioenergy Association of Ukraine and Oleksandr Dombrovskyi – First Vice-chairman of the Committee on Fuel and Energy Complex, Nuclear Policy and Nuclear Safety (in Ukrainian)

For Ukraine, taking into account technological feasibility, availability and volumes, the most suitable raw materials for biogas production are pig manure, cattle manure, poultry litter, residues of agricultural enterprises, sugar beet pulp, vegetable residues of main crops, and also specially grown corn on silage.

The total estimated methane production potential of the considered types of by-products and corn silage is 7.8 billion m³ of CH4 per year, as of 2018, which is almost 40% of the natural gas production in Ukraine or almost 25% of the total GHG consumption for 2018.

Almost half of the potential for biogas production can be provided by using slaughter residues, another 35% – by growing corn on silage (Fig. 1). Manure and poultry litter amount is only 11% of the potential, another 4.7% is the biogas production potential from sugar beet pulp.

The absolute leader in the potential of biogas production is the Vinnytsia region (10% of the total potential). Kyiv, Cherkasy and Poltava regions together provide almost 25% of the potential. The smallest potential is concentrated in Transcarpathian, Chernivtsi, Rivne and Ivano-Frankivsk regions.

The potential of biomethane production in Ukraine. Petro Kucheruk. The platform of sustainable agribusiness SAF Ukraine. July 11, 2019.

The Bioenergy Association of Ukraine since 2019 is a partner of the platform of sustainable agribusiness SAF Ukraine.

In June, the Government of Ukraine set boundary tariffs for heat for the population for the heating season of 2019-2020, arguing that it was necessary to end the tyranny of local "communal barons", which force the population to overpay for their own mismanagement and inefficiency.

However, such a decision of the Cabinet of Ministers may lead to a situation where, with the increase in the price of natural gas, these boundary tariffs for heat energy will be lower than the economically sound level and district heating utilities will incur significant losses.

  • Do the "boundary tariffs" for heat energy solve the problems of housing and public utilities??
  • What are the alternative solutions?
  • Why should we look at the experience of Estonia?

These and other relevant questions in the publication for Ekonomichna Pravda are answered by Georgii Geletukha, Chairman of the Board of the Bioenergy Association of Ukraine, and Diana Korsakaite, Senior Expert on Energy Policy, Market Regulation and Reform.

Read the full article at the link below (in Ukrainian):

Do the "boundary tariffs" for heat energy solve the problems of housing and public utilities? (in Ukrainian)

The market presents a lot of modern gas engines for cars, heavy vehicles, ships and trains that can work on biomethane. Most car manufacturers offer models that operate on compressed methane. There is also the possibility to refit a petrol engine to gas-powered engine. Approximately 10% of biomethane produced in Europe is used as a motor fuel, especially in countries such as Sweden, Germany, Finland, Switzerland, Iceland.

Opportunities for using biomethane in Ukraine include:

  • Production of electricity and heat from biomethane using a gas transmission network.
  • Storage of biomethane in the natural gas network for the production of electricity at peak load.
  • The use of biomethane as a motor fuel for municipal transport and agriculture.
  • Replacement of natural gas with biomethane. Biomethane can be used for any purpose as a natural gas substitute.
  • Export of biomethane to the EU using the National Register of Biomethane Production and Consumption.
Potential markets for biomethane consumption in Ukraine. Yurij Matveev. The platform of sustainable agribusiness SAF Ukraine. July 05, 2019.

The Bioenergy Association of Ukraine since 2019 is a partner of the platform of sustainable agribusiness SAF Ukraine.