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There’s no net zero without biogas, says EU chief


Production of biogas, biomethane and “green” hydrogen will have to increase by at least 1,000% over the next three decades in order to reach the EU’s climate neutrality objective for 2050, a senior EU official has said.

Renewable gases currently supply around 7% of gross inland energy consumption in the EU, said Antonio Lopez-Nicolas, Deputy Head of the Renewable Energy Unit at the Directorate-General for Energy of the European Commission, making them “an important part” of the bloc’s energy mix.

But with Europe now aiming to reach climate neutrality by mid-century that percentage will need to “grow substantially,” he told a EURACTIV event supported by French utility ENGIE in November.

Under EU scenarios for 2050, where global warming is kept below 1.5°C, renewable gases “would reach between 50 and 62.5% of today’s gross inland consumption,” Lopez-Nicolas said.

In million tons of oil equivalent, this represents “a big increase from 17 Mtoe to between 200 and 250 Mtoe of renewable gases” – a jump of up to 1,370%.

As ambitious as it sounds, getting there is not impossible, Lopez-Nicolas said. New EU targets on renewables and energy efficiency adopted just over a year ago will facilitate the uptake of renewable gases in sectors such as heating and transport.

However, there was some pushback against the scenario from Green groups and farmers concerned about the issue of food versus fuel and the role of hydrogen.

Follow the link or a full report on the Euractiv/Engie Forum on Renewable Gases: Where do they stand in the EU’s 2050 energy roadmap?

The EURACTIV Network provides free localised EU policy news in 12 languages.


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