The Biogas Sector Development : Current and future trends in Western and Northern Europe
Abstract: The following study attempts to provide a comparative analysis of the biogas production activities in 15 countries in Western and Northern Europe. The goal is, for each country, to gather all the available information about the present status of the biogas sector and then to evaluate the possible trends for future development in terms of main biogas production pathways, valorization, volumes, market dynamics, etc.First, a review of the current biogas production, including feedstock types and valuation pathways, is carried on. Then, national supporting schemes are reviewed and assessed in order to estimate their future impact on the production capacity. An estimate of the production volumes in year 2022 is attempted, based on the extrapolation of current support schemes and national objectives. The prognosis towards year 2022 is further subjected to sensitivity analysis with the breakdown per valorization method and feedstock input types, as well as with the probable variability of financial support schemes. The results of the study are summarized and discussed based on comparisons with other forecasts and feedstock availability projections.The results show that the current situation in each country is very heterogeneous in terms of technologies, volumes, maturity, potential growth and valorization aspects. However, the future holds a promise of a more straightforward trendline: agricultural residues should be used much more as feedstock (in co-digestion with other inputs) and biogas upgrade to biomethane should increase a lot, mainly for injection in existing gas grids. However, market dynamics are and will remain very different from one country to another, because of diverging support schemes set on a national scale.
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