The combined production of biogas and biomethane in 2021 amounted to 196 TWh or 18.4 billion cubic meters. This represents 4.5% of the European Union’s gas consumption in 2021.
Biomethane production continues to grow, unlike biogas production. 2021 saw the largest annual increase with an additional 6.1 TWh or 0.6 billion cubic meters of biomethane compared to 2020. The total production of biomethane in Europe in 2021 was 37 TWh or 3.5 billion cubic meters. A further increase should be expected in 2022.
As of the end of 2021, there were 1,067 biomethane plants in Europe. This is an increase of 184 units compared to 2020, making 2021 the year with the largest increase in the number of biomethane plants to date.
Growth is expected to be even faster in 2022 as there have already been 155 new biomethane plants commissioned by September 2022, according to the EBA.
Biomethane plants are larger in size than biogas plants. While the average European biogas plant produces an average of 8 GWh of biogas per year, the average biomethane plant produces 35 GWh per year – a fourfold difference.
More than ¾ of biomethane plants use either membrane separation (47%), a water scrubber (17%), or a chemical scrubber (12%) to convert biogas into biomethane. Over 80% of biomethane plants commissioned in Europe in 2021 use membrane separation.
It is known that 58% of biomethane plants operating in Europe are connected to the distribution gas network and 19% – to the transport gas network. 9% of European biomethane plants operate autonomously, and there is no information on the remaining 14% in the EBA database.
There is a tendency to use agricultural waste and residues, the organic fraction of solid household waste, and sewage sludge. Since 2017, almost no new projects using monocultures (for example, corn silage) have been created.
We remind you that we have already published the article about the EBA Statistical Report 2022 via the link.
Source: European Biogas Association.