Today, July 13, a session of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Energy, Housing and Communal Services was held. One of the issues that were considered is the draft Law on Amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On Alternative Fuels” on the development of biomethane production, №5464. As a result, the Committee supported the draft Law and recommended it to the Verkhovna Rada for consideration in the first reading.

A meeting session of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Energy, Housing and Communal Services July 13, 2021)

The draft Law solves three main tasks:

  1. It legitimizes the definition of the term “biomethane” — biogas that in its physical and technical characteristics meets the regulations on natural gas for supply to the gas transmission and distribution system or for use as motor fuel.
  2. It creates the “Biomethane Register” — an electronic system of accounts designed to register the amount of biomethane submitted to the gas transmission or gas distribution system and selected from the gas transmission or gas distribution system, as well as to form guarantees of biomethane origin, its transfer, distribution or revocation, and certification.
  3. It establishes the procedure for forming guarantees of origin of biomethane.

What is biomethane?

Biomethane is biogas upgraded to the quality of natural gas, which usually contains 95-98% of methane (CH4). Biomethane can significantly contribute to the decarbonization of the gas sector, making renewable gases available for transport, industry, and heating.

Biomethane as an analogue of natural gas can be used for the production of heat and electricity, as a fuel for transport, as well as raw materials for the chemical industry.

The common opinion of experts – biomethane is the future of biogas.

Georgii Geletukha

World production of biomethane has already reached 5 billion m3 / year. The leader in biomethane production today is the EU. Biomethane production in Europe is already prevalent in 18 countries. The growth rate of the sector in the EU is 16% / year. For example, according to Danish government plans, in 2035 natural gas will be completely replaced by biomethane. The potential for biomethane production in the world is up to 880 billion m3 / year (about 25% of current world natural gas consumption).

Why biomethane?

  • Today it is the cheapest of the possible renewable gases. The cost of green hydrogen is about 6-7 $ / kg, and if we transform it into comparable units, it is three times expensive than biomethane at a price of $ 700/1000 m3. These two fuels will be equal in price when the cost of green hydrogen will be $ 2 / kg. This is projected to be achieved by 2050.
  • Biomethane is absolutely ready for injection into the gas network today, unlike hydrogen. No investment is required in the modernization of gas networks and gas equipment (gas burners, engines, turbines…).
  • Biomethane plants, in addition to biomethane, generate digestate, which can become the main organic fertilizer needed for the revival of Ukrainian soils.
  • Ukraine can really compete with any country in the production of biomethane. Ukraine can offer the cheapest raw materials for biomethane production. Ukraine has the largest agricultural lands in Europe, and, accordingly, one of the best potentials in the world for agricultural raw materials for biomethane production.
  • The approximate calculations of the required investment are as follows: a biomethane plant with a capacity of 10 million m3 / year (it is an analogue of a biogas plant with a capacity of 4 MW) costs about 10 million euros. Accordingly, to pump 1 billion m3 of biomethane into the network, we will need 100 plants with a capacity of 10 million m3 / year. And they will cost a total of 1 billion Euros.

The Bioenergy Association of Ukraine fully supports this draft Law that will allow Ukraine to start production, consumption and export of biomethane.

  • Video of the meeting session of the Committee on Energy, Housing and Communal Services (July 13, 2021 / in Ukrainian):