Governments ignore the potential of the anaerobic digestion and biogas industry to create dependable low carbon energy 24/7, fertilize the land, reduce polluting farm run-off, diversify businesses and create thousands of truly rewarding jobs, at their peril.
In this article we thought that we would pull together a number of recent news articles to show how the anaerobic digestion story continues to become a bigger story as new sources of biomass feedstock are identified and the technology used to utilize those feed materials continues to improve apace. The result is that both the AMOUNT BEING GENERATED and the potential for energy from biogas keeps getting BIGGER!
Yes! Let’s focus on the big picture, which is that Biogas Potential Keeps Getting Bigger.
The first article comes from the UK’s Chartered Institute of Waste Management, and although there are disappointments in the way the UK Government seems to be largely ignoring the potential of Anaerobic Digestion, 30% is a large upward estimate on previous assessments:
Biogas Can Meet Up To 30% Of UK Domestic Gas Demand (CIWM Journal Online)
The Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA) will write to Energy Secretary, Amber Rudd, to stress the benefits of biogas, following the announcement that the UK will phase out of coal-fired power stations by 2023.
Marking a major shift in UK energy policy, Rudd has prioritised support for indigenous sources of gas, as well as openly committing to offshore wind and a move towards “a smarter energy system.”
UK Energy Secretary, Amber Rudd (Image by The Prime Ministers Office via Flickr)
ADBA said it will write to the Energy Secretary to stress that biogas can meet as much as 30% of domestic gas or electricity demand, reducing gas imports and providing secure baseload power.
Green gas will be vital to achieving secure supplies while meeting the carbon budgets the Secretary of State has committed to, it says.
ADBA’s Chief Executive, Charlotte Morton, commented: “There’s often an assumption that the choice facing our country is one between supporting renewable electricity or non-renewable gas stations.
ADBA – “AD can deliver the same, vital baseload electrical capacity as new nuclear; but cheaper and faster than Hinkley Point C”
“Baseload gas from anaerobic digestion (AD) is a cost-effective, green solution to the government’s energy security concerns that could match the capacity from coal-fired power – meeting either 30% of UK domestic gas or electricity demand. But much more than that – AD improves: farming resilience; food security; and employment and investment opportunities for rural economies.
“A Parliamentary report released yesterday shows that green gas represented 7% of the UK’s indigenous gas supply in 2014 – a colossal milestone for the biogas industry. The UK still needs 20TWh more renewable heat by 2020 to meet the government’s 12% target – AD could deliver a third of that.
“Ignoring the benefits of supporting renewable electricity growth now creates real risks, however. AD can deliver the same, vital baseload electrical capacity as new nuclear; but cheaper and faster than Hinkley Point C. Just as with new nuclear, however, for AD to achieve this feat it will require support for industry to scale and deliver this potential – we would therefore urge the Energy Secretary to re-consider the ill-advised proposals to severely limit future development under the Feed-in Tariff.”
New Energy Direction
The reaction from various stakeholders and operators has seen a mixture of praise for the decision to phase out coal and criticism for prioritising gas.
Reacting to Rudd’s speech, the Friends of the Earth said that phasing out coal is essential for the climate, “but switching from coal to gas is like an alcoholic switching from two bottles of whisky a day to two bottles of port… she is certainly taking UK energy policy in a new direction, “unfortunately it’s backwards to the 20th century.”
….Dr Jenifer Baxter, head of energy and environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers said that Nuclear power generation also has a role to play.
….“Increasing demand for natural gas will lead to other ‘difficult’ challenges in securing the gas network in the UK. This may include more imports and potentially greater use of shale gas.
“Nuclear power generation has a role to play, as this does not generate any direct carbon emissions at all, but does require significant investment into the safe and environmental management of whole cycle of nuclear fuel.
“The UK should be seen as a nation leading the development of a low carbon energy system for the future and to achieve this we need to invest much more into Research & Development of new generation of renewables and other low carbon energy.”
But, not only is the energy potential rising as new reports and national biogas programmes emerge, the potential for job creation rises as well, as the following article from Italy, shows:
Biogas in southern Italy can create 8 thousand new green jobs
Alessandro Marangoni 11/18/2015 (Translated from Italian)
A potential production of 3.1 billion m3 of biomethane [will be available]by 2030, with a total economic impact amounting to 18-27 billion euro (depending on the evolutionary scenario) and the creation of 8,000 new jobs in the sector. These are the estimates by Althesys on biogas development potential in Southern Italy. In practice, considering the consequences throughout the supply chain, for every euro invested it would get 4 or 5 back.
Research delivers insight into the biogas upgrading global market outlook (2015-2022) – whatech
The Global Biogas Upgrading market is estimated to reach $1.97 billion by 2022.
Strict Government regulations, greenhouse gas emissions reductions, volatile fertilizer price, demand for renewable energy and transportation fuel are some of the key drivers of the market. –
The biogas market is estimated to drive the market over next decade due to significant growth in residential and industrial applications.
The Global Biogas Upgrading market is segmented by Technology and by Geography. Based on Technology, the market is segmented into Water scrubbing, Pressure swing adsorption, Cryogenic technique, Membrane separation, Physical absorption, Chemical scrubbing.
The Biogas upgrading market by geography is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Rest of the World.
Europe is leading the biogas upgrading market and Asia Pacific is projected to have faster growth rate.
The Key players in the market include Greenlane Biogas, Cirmac, Acrona Systems, Malmberg Water, DGE GmbH, Air Liquide, Kohler and Ziegler, DMT Environmental Technology, Carbotech and Guild Associates.
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….Waste heat recovery market in oil and gas industry to grow at a CAGR of 7.6% to 2019 according to new research report.
New report explores the global offshore wind energy industry 2015.
… Research report, explores the Global waste to energy market that is poised to expand at 8.1% CAGR till 2019, driven by growing demand from Asia Pacific ….