Is biogas the best choice in the face of supply shortages?

In the past few months we have seen how electricity and gas prices in Europe have risen to unprecedented levels. The war in Ukraine is undoubtedly the main reason for this growth.

The magnitude of this problem is immense and undoubtedly reveals Europe’s enormous dependence on natural gas imported from Russia. Faced with this situation, the countries of the European Union have been forced to compensate for this loss by saving energy and importing alternative sources. But what do we mean when we talk about alternative sources, and is it feasible to curb this dependence through them?

In a society in which fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal predominate, the search for and use of other, more sustainable energy sources is currently an essential strategy for dealing with this situation. Solar energy, wind energy and biomass energy are three of the best known renewable energies. However, other alternatives are also emerging, such as biogas.

This renewable gas is seeking to carve out a niche for itself by highlighting its contribution to the circular economy. Although the supply capacity of this source is limited in the short term, its contribution to ending dependence on Russian gas is vital.

The importance of this resource is so great that this Monday, September 12, the deadline for submitting applications for the first call for aid for singular projects for biogas facilities in Spain has opened within the framework of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan financed by the European Union. The initial amount of this call is 150 million euros.

To whom this subsidy is addressed and types of activities

Only those investments that increase the level of environmental protection resulting from the promotion of biogas are considered eligible for subsidies. On this basis, two different programs are distinguished. On the one hand, Program 1 is aimed at all entities that carry out an economic activity, consortiums and groups. On the other hand, Program 2 includes all those entities that belong to the institutional public sector and all those that do not carry out any economic activity.

These aids, granted in the form of non-refundable subsidies and on a competitive basis, will be granted to all those eligible projects that cover one or more of the following actions:

Realization of biogas production facilities with the raw materials included in each call, provided that an energy use of the same is produced or used for the production of biomethane.
Creation of facilities to use biogas for heat production, electric power generation, cogeneration or from new generation biogas.
Establishment of facilities for the treatment of digestate for agricultural use.

Likewise, all the facilities included in the incentive program approved by this call must achieve a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of at least 80% in the case of producing electricity or heat, and equal or higher than 65% in the case of producing biomethane for use in transport. In addition, all of them will have to have a system for monitoring the usable electrical or thermal energy provided by the subsidized facility.

Therefore, despite the fact that biogas production is currently insufficient to supply our country’s energy needs, waste management for biogas helps to improve overall resource efficiency, as well as job offers and gains in energy security.

At Euro-Funding we accompany our clients in the process of implementing energy efficiency measures and the development of actions that reduce the environmental impact through the development of specialized consulting services, adapted to the needs and legal obligations.