Biogas from anaerobic digestion

This methodology covers projects producing biogas through anaerobic digestion. Most projects here use agricultural waste as a main input. This offers a low-impact energy alternative to fossil fuels, and allows for the circular use of agri-food waste.

Eligible technology

Eligible projects within this methodology focus on the production and utilization of biogas, a renewable energy source generated through anaerobic digestion. This process involves the decomposition of organic matter such as agricultural waste, manure, municipal organic waste, and energy crops in methanation units or digesters. These controlled environments allow bacteria to break down the organic material in the absence of oxygen, producing biogas and digestate as byproducts.

Biogas primarily consists of carbon dioxide (about 40%) and methane (around 60%), along with minor impurities. It undergoes purification to remove carbon dioxide, yielding biomethane, a clean energy source with properties akin to natural gas. The uses of biogas are versatile, including injection into the gas network after purification, cogeneration for simultaneous production of electricity and heat, and direct use as a heat source in boilers.

The second valuable output from this process is digestate, a nutrient-rich substance ideal for use as a natural fertilizer in agriculture. Depending on the requirements, digestate can be applied in its raw, liquid form or separated into solid and liquid phases for different applications.

Projects centered around biogas production and utilization play a crucial role in sustainable energy solutions. They contribute to waste reduction, energy generation, and agricultural efficiency, aligning with environmental sustainability goals. This methodology recognizes and supports such projects, acknowledging their potential to transform waste into valuable energy resources and natural fertilizers.

European context

In the EU, about 175 TWh of biogas were produced in 2021. Energy from biogas consumption made up about 4% of combined natural gas and biogas consumption in the EU in 2022. This was higher in some countries such as Germany (9%) and Denmark (26%).

Biogas production varies widely across countries, mainly due to differences in policy support and feedstock availability. In its recent REPowerEU plan, the European Commission acknowledges the advantages of biomethane and has, therefore, established a goal of achieving an annual biomethane production of 35 billion cubic meters (bcm) by 2030. Currently, the EU-27 region produces 3 bcm of biomethane and 15 bcm of biogas.

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