Gas | Other
Energy security meets the circular economy : a stronger case for sustainable biomethane production in the EU
29 April 2022
BY: OLCZAK Maria, Andris Piebalgs
The outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war has revived discussions on the EU’s dependence on fossil fuel imports from Russia. To ensure gas diversification, the EU Commission has suggested over a tenfold increase in EU biomethane production from the current ~3 billion cubic meters (bcm) to 35 bcm by 2030. While higher gas prices could provide some incentive for biomethane production in the short term, additional measures will be necessary to reach the 2030 target. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has suggested that putting a value on methane emissions (which would otherwise be emitted from the decomposition of organic waste in the agriculture and waste sectors) avoided could support biomethane production while reducing this potent GHG. This could be an interesting option for the EU to support achievement of its Global Methane Pledge commitment. The EU circular economy framework could help boost biomethane production by alleviating energy security concerns, but it requires better policy coordination. This policy brief identifies four focus areas: (a) measurement, reporting and verification of methane emissions from the agriculture and waste sectors; (b) continual improvement of best practices to mitigate methane emissions; (c) sustainable production of biomethane; and (d) responsible operation of biomethane plants.
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