Tools for successful regional biogas initiatives and deployment

According to the experience of project partners and results of completed bioenergy projects, the most effective trigger for stimulating the deployment of biogas/biomethane technology is a regional approach. Consequently, WP2 focuses on existing documentation of EU and national projects and success stories that help strengthening the regional initiatives.

Biogas Toolbox will be soon available on the website. It is a compilation of reports and tools for regional biogas deployment. It provides an EU-wide analysis and proactive guidelines for development of the European biogas sector at a regional level. It gives guidelines in which regions of Europe and under which preconditions (agricultural, political, energetic) they are best applied.

In two chapters, Biogas Toolbox gives a highly comprehensive review of the identified 22 European projects and 62 national tools. To invite readers and provide an easily accessible format there is a comprehensive overview in form of a table, followed by detailed descriptions of each project. These tools were categorised as policy tools, technical tools, market tools and training and educational tools.

Policy tools were used by more than half of the European projects showing their importance on European rather than national level. Half of the European projects provided market tools in comparison to 27% of the national tools used. The diversity and amount of technical and training and education tools for European and national level show the raising need for technical advice. Both the projects developed at European and national level covered the whole chain of interested parties from policy makers through rural communities and regions, farmers, plant operators, investors and gas grid operators to consumers. More than two thirds of the European projects targeted the group of investors, farmers, AD plant operators, etc.

One chapter of the Toolbox is concerned with description and assessment of local preconditions for successful and interesting biogas plants. Most of them were realised by private investors. Municipalities or regions were involved in almost half of the projects of interesting AD installations. The support schemes are notified in most of the countries except of the Czech Republic and Latvia. In most of the participating countries the support schemes are financed by the costumers either in the form of surcharge fees or a tax on energy consumption.

Almost half of the plants process biowaste combined with agricultural substrates. More than half of the plants are using the biogas in the combined heat and power production process (CHP) either at the plant location or after transporting the biogas to the place of consumption (remote CHP) which allows in many cases the efficient use of heat. Almost one third of the plants upgrade the biogas to natural gas quality. The digestate is mainly used as a fertiliser either untreated or after the separation of liquid and solid phase.

Biogas Toolbox is a comprehensive inventory of support tools and will assist all stakeholders within the biogas technology value chain to find suitable solutions researching biogas projects in similar regions.