From 1.4 billion in France to 429 million euros in Poland. 3.3 billion euros are planned to be invested outside the EU — in particular, the United Kingdom and Ukraine are being considered.
Last week, the European Biogas Association (EBA) has published the first investment forecast for the biomethane sector (1st EBA Investment Outlook on Biomethane). The document is available on the SAF platform.
The first investment tranche will reach 18 billion euros and will be accumulated until 2030 for:
- ensuring the biomethane production expansion,
- supporting Europe’s energy security,
- combating climate change.
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,
- €1 extra billion has been allocated with no specific timeframe.
In future releases, the EBA will update data on current investment sizes.
Distribution by country
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).
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.
Basics of politics
Investments will be facilitated by the harmonization of the EU taxonomy according to REPowerEU. Political will help direct capital flows into the biomethane sector. Harmonization of the cross-border trade system in the EU will also be of great importance, especially for non-subsidized projects.
The promised investment will provide additional, system-wide benefits to the whole spectrum of society, worth up to €7.9 billion per year. These include energy security, soil health, greenhouse gas emissions reduction, and supply of biogenic CO2, as well as improved waste management, job creation, replacement of synthetic fertilisers, sustainable rural development and the expansion of agroecology. Biomethane is the only renewable energy source that can provide all of these benefits.
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, however; efforts should be made to assess its value fairly. 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.
The instalment of CCS (carbon capture and storage) and CCU (carbon capture and utilization) technologies is also anticipated in existing biomethane plants, allowing them to capture all biogenic C02 generated.
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Photo: Air Liquide.