Topic brief: Biogas business models

Date: 5 Juillet 2018                                                                          Coordinator of the exchange session: CCS, Berry de Jong

The following topic brief summarizes discussions held during an EU level exchange sessions (T4.1) among BiogasAction project partners. It aims at providing the main outcomes of the discussions. Each topic brief focuses on one specific development topic for biogas in Europe. Topic briefs can be downloaded at

What is at stake?

Several biogas applications and business cases can be taken into account. They include:

  1. Biogas

– Sell biogas/heat from biogas with biogas network

  1. Heat

– Sell heat from biogas with heat network

  1. CHP

– Compensate own energy use and sell electricity

  1. Biomethane

– Feed-in (and sell) biomethane to grid

  1. Digestate treatment

– Avoid (expensive) transport and disposal of manure, produce fertilizer

Partners experiences

Experience from the Netherlands: Small scale digestion

  • The experience is based on developing business models for small scale digestion projects and the use of the BioEnergy Farm2 project calculation tools. Online and Offline expert tools are available and can be used respectively by farmers and farmer advisors. Bottom up calculation is implemented taking into account the size of components and investment based on offers and price indications of companies. More information is available at:

Key findings and lessons learnt:

  • The business plan should include:
    • Non-technical aspects:
      • General information: legal status, location , livestock and land
      • Reasons to invest
      • Subsidies
      • Social and ecological aspects
    • Sizing and technical aspects
      • Technical description of the plant: storage, digester, gas utilisation
      • Logistics of substrates, cosubstrates, digestate
      • Manpower needs
    • Tips and trics:
      • Check real dry matter content of substrates
      • Available substrates vs plant size
      • Efficiencies CHP given by manufacturers in perfect conditions (e.g. 60% CH4)
      • Size does matter
      • Biomethane: check availability and costs early in project development
      • Maintenance of pumps and feeders

Download the Topic brief here (PDF version).