There was a marked upturn in demand for biogas in western Sweden in 2018. The volume of biogas traded in the Swedegas network rose from 10 to 20 per cent. Many companies and private individuals have opted for biogas as part of a concerted effort to promote a more sustainable society.
“We are extremely pleased with the way things are developing. If this trend is to continue, however, politicians must ensure that biogas has a stable, long-term basis for growth,” said Johan Zettergren, Chief Executive of Swedegas.
The Gas Barometer measures how much biogas is consumed by customers connected to the gas network in western Sweden, which consists of a transmission network and a number of distribution networks. The proportion of biogas consumed by customers in the main network doubled between 2017 and 2018, and currently stands at just over 20 per cent. Including the distribution networks, biogas accounts for 23.5 per cent – almost one-quarter of the total!
Biogas is a unique asset to society. It is part of a closed ecological system where food waste, wastewater and residual products are used to produce renewable vehicle fuel, electricity, heating, and fuel and raw material for industry. The residue from the anaerobic digestion process is used to produce biofertiliser. This is why biogas is becoming increasingly attractive to companies, including many in the food industry, that are driven by the ambition to become fossil free.
Demand for biogas has been met by stepping up production in other European countries, such as Denmark. Expansion in Denmark has meant that a growing number of individuals and companies along the gas network now have the option of purchasing renewable fuel.
“If this trend is to continue, we need to be able to harness the unique potential in Sweden to produce biogas. We are very hopeful about the outcome of the government enquiry into the biogas market, and that the conclusions and control proposals that emerge will enhance the role of biogas in bringing about a fossil-free world,” said Johan Zettergren.
It is also crucial that certain rules and regulations that are preventing this from happening are abolished by Parliament and the government. In, for example, the EU Emissions Trading System and the Swedish Electricity Certificate System, and when standby power needs to be procured during cold winters, biogas is not deemed sustainable if it is distributed together with natural gas in the network.
Biogas and natural gas are identical in terms of chemical composition, and they can be used together and transported in the same pipeline. This is no different from electricity from renewable and fossil sources being transported in the same electricity network.
The potential for joint distribution in the gas network remains one of the key factors if more Swedish companies and households are to gain access to biogas. In combination with the long-term conditions for the expansion of biogas in Sweden and reliable trading channels in Europe, it will be a fundamental part of the renewable energy mix.
Swedegas is providing the biogas market enquiry set up by the government with valuable input, and it is looking forward to the gas network continuing to contribute effectively to the supply of safe, sustainable energy in the long term.
For further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, Vice President, Communications and Sustainability, +46 (0)706 227606, or email@example.com, Business Development Manager Renewable Gas, +46 (0) 31 439319.
Gas Barometer Swedegas created the Gas Barometer quantification system to highlight the increase in the volume of biogas in the Swedish gas network. The aim is to have 30 per cent renewable gas by 2030, rising to 100 per cent by 2050. This initiative is being pursued in partnership with the companies that trade in gas in the network: Göteborg Energi, Modity, E.ON, Ørsted and Axpo. The Gas Barometer shows what proportion of the gas that is being traded is biogas, and the sectors in which it is in demand. It also draws attention to market initiatives and political decisions that impact on demand.
Read more about the Gas Barometer here.