How can biogases help to decarbonise industrial processes?

Industry was responsible for more than a quarter of energy consumption in 2021 within the EU. However, less than 10% of the industrial energy demand that year was met using renewable sources.
How can biogases help to decarbonise industrial processes? - Diagram

Meeting the Energy Needs of European Industry

In 2021, industry accounted for over a quarter of the EU’s final energy consumption. However, a mere fraction of this industrial energy demand, less than 10%, was met by renewable sources. The dominant player in the industrial energy mix was natural gas, making up 33% of the sector’s energy use.

The journey toward achieving low-carbon industry in Europe is a multifaceted endeavor due to the wide array of processes involved. Energy requirements across industries vary significantly, requiring a diverse set of tools to facilitate the transition. Among these, natural gas remains essential for generating process heat and providing methane as a feedstock. In contrast, biogases offer a promising solution, particularly for processes demanding high temperatures and steam pressure. As of 2022, 18% of upgraded biogas was harnessed in industry, with a trajectory for further growth.

How Biogases Foster Decarbonization in Industrial Processes:
  • Biomethane’s Parity with Natural Gas: Biomethane can seamlessly replace natural gas for both energy and feedstock applications. Chemically equivalent and possessing identical energy content, biomethane is a sustainable substitute.

  • BioLPG as an Alternative: BioLPG can readily replace fossil LPG utilising the same delivery methods, such as truck refilling on-site tanks.

  • On-Site Renewable Energy Generation: Raw biogas or biomethane can efficiently produce renewable electricity, heat, and steam on-site through combined heat and power generators (CHP).

  • Utilising Existing Infrastructure: Biomethane’s compatibility with the existing gas networks and end-use appliances, such as boilers and furnaces, entails no adaptation cost for industries already using natural gas.

Recommendations for a Sustainable Transition:
  • Recognizing Biogas and Biomethane: It is crucial to acknowledge biogas and biomethane as a cost-effective decarbonization pathway within European strategies, alliances, and roadmaps for EU industries.

  • Supporting Industrial Demand: Encourage companies to report biomethane consumption using EU Guarantees of Origin and sustainability certificates under the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting rules.

  • Integration in Emission Reporting: Promote the recognition of Guarantees of Origin and sustainability certificates in European and international GHG emissions reporting frameworks, including the GHG Protocol and other voluntary reporting systems.

  • Eligibility for Public Funding: Recognize biogas-based solutions as eligible under EU public funding and EU state aid rules for the decarbonization of industries.

These recommendations aim to reinforce the pivotal role of biogases in the sustainable transformation of European industries, aligning with the broader commitment to a low-carbon future.