Biomethane-Regions is ultimately intended to facilitate new AD plants and bio-methane production through the provision of independent advice to potential developers, regulators, politicians and potentially affected persons. The objective is to establish AD, bio-methane to gas grid and bio-methane as a transport fuel as viable and attractive options to investors, individuals, waste and energy companies / utilities and governments.
Through an examination of case studies of existing plants, the visiting of existing high efficiency operations and the adoption of the most appropriate technology to each circumstance, best practice and solutions in new AD plants will be encouraged. By facilitating the removal of barriers to the implementation of bio-methane options the technology can fulfill its potential.
The project seeks to bring un-tapped bio-resources onto the energy market by encouraging "biogas injection into gas grids or use as transport fuel".
Supplier Directory, Register Now!
The project partners can help you to identify suppliers in the anaerobic digestion and biogas industry, who can assist you in developing your project. Bio-methane Regions will be engaging with suppliers during the course of the project, but there is already and excellent supplier database run by the Wales Centre of Excellence. Note that this includes suppliers for England, Wales and beyond, so it is not geographically restricted.
The supplier database can be accessed at the Wales Centre of Excellence site. You will need to register directly, either as a supplier offering services, or as a customer searching for suppliers to help with your project.
Visit the Suppliers Directory: link
Biomethane-Calculator comprises the technologic and economic aspects of upgrading raw biogas to produce biomethane. After defining the raw biogas to be upgraded, the user is asked to select one out of a couple of different gas upgrading technologies. The following technologies are relevant in biogas upgrading and are therefore included in Biomethane-Calculator:
- Gaspermeation (3 different plant configurations)
- Pressurised water scrubbing
- Pressure swing adsorption
- Atmospheric amine scrubbing
Furthermore, the user is allowed to choose the consideration of additional plant components like raw biogas desulphurisation, gas transfer station for grid injection, high pressure compression, gas odorisation or propane dosing for heating value adjustment. Finally, the desired quality of the produced biomethane has to be defined.
Thereupon, Biomethane-Calculator generates a techno-economic assessment of the projected gas upgrading solution for the production of biomethane. It is investigated, if the considered technology is suitable for reaching the desired biomethane quality or if an alternative technology has to be chosen. The economic assessment comprises the calculation of investment costs and all operational costs as well as the specific production costs.
This tool has been developed during the IEE-project BioMethane Regions. It is designed to be used for pre-feasibility studies regarding new bio-methane facilities. Liability claims regarding damage or economic disadvantage caused by the use of any information provided, including any kind of information which is incomplete or incorrect, will be rejected by the authors.
Biomethane situation in .....
..... in Rhône-Alpes, Brittany and Pays de la Loire regions
The Country Specific Conditions in the French Regions aims to provide an overview of anaerobic digestion and particularly of agricultural methanization in the regions of Rhône-Alpes, Brittany and Pays de la Loire.
Following the previous versions which were edited in the framework of the European project “Biogas Regions”, this document highlights a significant development of this sector for the last 4 years. Particularly recording:
- Progression in terms of achievements and projects:
- in Rhone-Alpes: 2 farm-scale biogas plants
- in the West: 10 farm-scale biogas plants
- Regulatory changes
- decrees and orders concerning bio-methane and injection
- decrees revaluing electricity feed-in tariffs
- New trends for the sector: towards injection of bio-methane into the natural gas networks
The anaerobic digestion process is a growing sector, the know-how is available and specialised firms are developing more and more. The political and administrative level is fairly open, but there are still some regulations aspects to be clarified.
The enhancement of landfill biogas and the mobilization of agricultural effluents should be a priority in the fight against the greenhouse effect.
Considering the French context, it is very difficult to base a project only on energy dedicated crops.
The implementation of biogas plant (with territorial approach) beyond 200 kWe remains complicated and definitely still needs appropriate accompaniment.
The official texts concerning the injection are encouraging the development of biogas in France. The early achievements and the progress of research and development in this field will help lay the ground for future projects.
The intense research and development for the gasification and the in vitro culture of algae should also allow the development of new sources of biogas or syngas for the generation of methane.
The work carried out by the “Club biogas” in particular on transportation of biogas will help considering new alternatives for future projects. But for farm-scale biogas or territorial projects, the major issue concerns the possibility of financing the implementation.
.... in Walloon region
The Country Specific Conditions report could give you the broad guidelines of legal and administrative framework active in the Walloon Region in the sector of methanation.
In Walloon region, a first pre-feasibility study is realized freely by the facilitator (the facilitator has been designated for advising industrials or farmers about biomethanation project). Then, if all is positive, the legal authorization procedure can be started. The permit is called "single permit" because it includes the environmental permit and the urban permit. If the quantity of animal by-products (effluent, ...) is over 100 tonnes of per day or more than 500 tons / day in the case of waste other than animal by-products, an environmental impact study is also required. All substrate types approved for biogas process are mentioned in the environmental permit. All toxic organic matters are prohibited. Maize and grass grown on set-aside land are allowed.
Nowadays, biogas is usually used in cogeneration. The heat supply from biogas plant to buildings around the farm is not submitted to specific regulations except of the urban permit concerning the distribution facilities. The tariff is decided by the seller. For the electricity, a supply licence is required to sell electricity. For connecting to the grid, the authorization depends on the agreement of the local/regional electricity supply company based on a feasibility study concerning the local grid capacity, the voltage, the situation, and the facilities. The connection must follow the technical recommendations of Synergrid (the electric/gas supply company federation). Injection on biomethane into the natural gas grid is not yet functional. However, the legislative framework currently in force for the natural gas network was expanded to the use of gas from renewable sources. In addition, technical specifications determining the technical characteristics of biogas can be injected into the natural gas grid were published by Synergrid in December 2010. Moreover, the Walloon government has legislated the end of 2010 on a model of support: GAZ transferable Guarantees of origin. This system is similar to the mechanism of green certificates.
The use of digestate is allowed only if there is respect of the norms. If the digestate characteristics are conform, the farmer receives a use certificate and can be spread on fields. If not, the digestate must be destroyed.
Some Regional subsidies are available. It consists on green certificate or GC (since 2002) and some specific help for farmer, the municipalities... The GC is applied in order to support the production of green electricity. A green certificate is a transferable certificate issued to producers of green power for a number of kWh generated which is equal to MWhe divided by the carbon dioxide saving rate. The price of GC is guaranteed at a minimum price of 65 €/GC for a period of 10 years by the Walloon government. Some fiscal incentives are also available. It is mainly the exemption of real estate immovable withholding: for private companies investing in real estate and a tax deduction (13.5 %) for investment for industrial, commercial, agricultural companies as well as for liberal professionals.
.... in Styria region
The Country Specific Conditions report represents in general the actual situation of Austria’s biogas/biomethane applications. It is not a detailed view of the legal framework if requirements for the construction of a plant, but it points out to prospective developers, investors or operators the main barriers for a save, legal and economical operation of a biogas/biomethane plant.
Austria is bound by their requirements to reduce the greenhouse gases and to expand renewable energies. Biogas/bio methane technology serves both objectives.
The Biogas production of Austria takes Place at 90% by agricultural small plants. The initial strong growth has fallen due to falling feed in tariffs and rising raw material prices (corn). By the end of 2011 there are 360 biogas plants feeding as recognized green power plants with a total capacity of 102.59 MW in the Austrian electricity grid. Of these, 289 systems (79.2 MW), a contract with the OeMAG completed and received by the legally mandated green electricity tariff. 2010 were 539.47 GWh of green electricity from biogas is fed into Austrian power grids.
In recent years, the biogas sector in Austria has increased slightly. Small agricultural plants are very common. Biomethane plants exist occasionally.
As part of this publication, on the basis of past experience the following subjects are classified as key hurdles.
- Long‐term availability of raw materials,
- Fermentation residues,
- Legal framework,
- Economic conditions.
.... in Denmark
As of March 22, 2012, a general national energy agreement for the period 2012-2020 was agreed, based on a broad settlement between most of the Danish political parties. With this energy agreement, initiators within the energy field are ensured broad political and financial support in order to create the ambitious conversion towards a more sustainable and renewable energy production in Denmark.
The energy agreement is an important milestone towards converting the entire Danish supply of energy, including power, heat, industry and transportation, to renewable energy in the year 2050. The initiatives in the agreement, running until 2020, focus on creating green growth and employment in the energy field, but doing this without hurting Danish companies’ competitiveness internationally.
With the general agreement, Denmark is secured a reduction in the gross energy consumption of 12 % in 2020, compared to the consumption in 2006. In addition, 35 % of the energy consumption is aimed at being renewable in 2020 and greenhouse gas emission (GHG) will become reduced by 34 %.
As a specific part of the new energy agreement, energy produced from biogas has received more attention than ever before. With the new agreement, the prerequisites for biogas utilization are better than ever, and more specifically the following areas will improve the framework for the production :
- Support for biogas used in CHP’s is increased significantly (new incentive level 0,14 € /kW.)
- Significant financial grants in support to the operation of biogas plants
- More support for the use of biogas in the natural gas grid, for process heating and within transportation
- Support for installation of biogas plants is increased
- Establishment of a task-force which supports specific projects.
... in England & Wales
There are a number of barriers to the development of biogas plants in the UK with one of the greatest, seemingly, the difficulty of gaining town and country planning consent. Where plants are well-sited and designed however, the track record for the AD industry is quite good. On-farm plants, in many cases, seem often to be relatively uncomplicated from a town planning perspective.
Animal health issues can be complicated and add in such significant costs and constraints for smaller plants that many developers (especially on-farm) will seek to avoid any contact with products requiring compliance with Animal Bi-Product Regulations. The Environment Agency and the AD industry have been working hard to try to reduce the cost and time involved in Environmental Permitting and what are known as "Standard Permits" have been introduced for straight-forward developments.
It does appear that the market conditions are changing in the UK and that good quality AD developments based on the processing of reasonably high volumes of waste products are now economically attractive. Small on-farm plants (below around 250 kW) were, until very recently, unlikely to be viable but strides are being made to produce modular plants that should bring down capital costs. Grid connection costs are a major determinant of scheme viability for electricity generation projects. Gas-to-grid projects are still very much in the minority in the UK but the recent introduction of the Renewable Heat Incentive and likely changes in the standards required for grid injected gas, are likely to see changes in the overall picture as new larger plants are developed.
... in Abruzzo Region
The aim of The Country Specific Conditions report is to offer guidance for who is interested in the installation of biogas plants. It is mainly centred on the complex system of authorization for the construction and functioning of plants for the production of electric energy from renewable energy sources, giving, at the same time, useful information regarding the necessary steps prior to the commencement of work such as: the choice of the site.
The report focuses also on the general legal and administrative framework in this sector and on the utilization of the digestate and the national permission procedures for its use.
The development of biogas/bio-methane production in the Abruzzo Region is very often hindered by obstacles and barriers. The report gives an overview of these barriers focusing on the technical and social aspects. According to the report the unfavourable attitude of the citizens towards these technologies, which have a minimal impact on the environment and territory, is due to a lack of information.
The main other barriers are:
− No standardized procedure for system design and prediction of the quantity of gas produced;
− Difficult economical framework;
− Specific rules for bio-methane should be set by the national government
Another obstacle for the future development of biogas/bio-methane production are the limits imposed by the national law on the heat output which make more difficult the installation of biogas plants in non-industrial areas.
... in Slovenia
At the moment in Slovenia big biogas plants are facing difficulties due to the limitations set by the national law of the use of plant materials for the production of Biogas, and due to the increase of the price of the organic materials.
In the last years there was a positive development of big biogas plants and for the future, since the interest that many farmers are showing in these technologies, is expected a wider diffusion of micro-biogas plants.
Future developments: studies for upgrading the cogeneration technology and for increasing the production from biogas plants of thermal energy.
The Country Specific Conditions report aims at giving an overview of the current situation in Slovenia and at outlining guidelines mainly for Bio-gas producers (and other stakeholders) which can find guidance on the permission procedures and on more technical aspects as for example the components of the plants.
... in Sweden
In Sweden where electricity and heat are mainly produced from non-fossil energy carriers, bio-methane is becoming an interesting alternative to fossil vehicle fuels. Today 1.4 TWh of biogas is produced annually in Sweden at approximately 230 facilities. There is a large potential to increase the production since biogas can be produced from various types of substrates that are currently treated as residues or waste. Due to the dependency of fossil fuels in transport sector, utilization of biogas as vehicle fuel has gained large interest during the last few years. Today there are about 40 upgrading plants in Sweden producing vehicle fuel.
In Sweden gas only represents a very small part of the energy supply, less than 3 % to be compared with 25 % in Europe. This is one of the reasons why there is an insufficient infrastructure for gas in the country. Putting up a fuelling station and building pipelines is a very big cost for a municipality or for the owner of a gas station. Another important obstacle is the lack of goals and long term rules that are necessary for every company that wishes to make investments in biogas/bio-methane plants. Since injection in a grid is an option only in a small part of the country, it is important to make sure there are long term contracts with customers for those who wish to invest in bio-methane production. What makes bio-methane production interesting in spite of all these obstacles is the fact that bio-methane is a vehicle fuel that is locally produced and used.
... in Croatia
The Country Specific Conditions report represents the actual situation of Croatia's biogas/bio-methane applications with a focus on the institutional framework, the permission procedures and on the identification of obstacles and barriers.
About this last issue the document outlines some conclusions which aim is to analyze the current obstacles for a better future development of the sector.
According to the report there are still grey areas in the permitting procedure which is pushing away the biogas plants from rural areas to industry zones.
The biogas industry is in a starting phase. Natural gas is the most important source in Hungary's primary energy mix, and ranks before oil and nuclear. The support of biogas plants in the society is positive, because these usually solve critical environmental problems. The spread of biogas plants in Hungary can significantly.
Promote the issue of replacing Hungarian primary energy resources by renewable energy resources in a higher proportion. It is important to be aware, that if the total amount of produced biogas in Hungary was injected into the natural gas network, it would mean only a few per cent of the domestic primary energy balance. Consequently biogas in the natural gas pipeline does not primarily serve to achieve independence from imports but environmental and rural development opportunities. Among the higher education institutions mostly the agricultural sciences are taking part in the spreading of technologies and in the creation of laboratory background and by providing services
... in Gemany
The „Bio-Methane Regions" country report gives an overview about the situation of the biogas market and points out the barriers and obstacles. Due to some serious accidents more and more authorities claim a safety training for two people to obtain a permission and a compulsory (safety) training for operators is discussed. For biogas plants with a biogas production of less than 2,3 Mio Nm3/year a construction permission according to the Construction Act (BauGB, Baugesetzbuch) can be gained, plants with a higher production need a permission according to the Federal Immission Act (BimSchG, Bundesimmissionsschutzgesetz). There are several other laws, ordinances and rules that have to be considered, too. In 2012 there have been major modifications of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG, Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz), e.g. there is only allowed a maximum of 60 % of maize as substrate for new biogas plants and there is a obligation to use at least 60 % of the heat for new biogas plants. Biogas upgrading and injection to the grid is more and more used. The biogas and biomethane is mostly used in CHP plants, but in 2012 the utilisation of biomethane as vehicle fuel increased from about 5 filling stations offering 100 % biomethane to about 80 biomethane filling stations. Many natural gas filling stations also offer a mixture of natural gas and biomethane. There are no reasonable technical barriers for biogas plants in Germany, but the changed legislation and the ongoing discussion on further cuts in the promotion of renewable energy right up to the abolishment of the Renewable Energy Act lead to restraints in the development of new projects.