Poland has enough feedstocks available for the production of its own sustainable and renewable fuel. The deployment of the biomethane industry gives the opportunity to strengthen Poland’s energy security, shift away from coal and boost growth in rural areas. According to the Polish Biomethane Organization (PBO), 2023 could become a breakthrough year marking the creation of a new renewable energy sector, providing that a long-term stable regulatory framework, covering the overall value chain of biomethane, is created to unlock the biomethane potential in Poland.
While there are currently more than 1000 biomethane plants registered in Europe, none has been built in Poland so far. According to experts from Poznań University of Life Sciences, Poland’s biomethane generation potential from waste and residues, mainly agri-food and municipal waste, is estimated at around 8 billion cubic meters (bcm) of biogas per year. Given current and projected demand for natural gas, as much as 60% of “blue fuel” imports could be replaced by “green renewable fuel generated from Polish waste”. In order to unlock the net zero potential of biomethane, before all else, legal regulations need to be adjusted, support schemes for potential investors and producers must be created, biomethane integration into gas grids must be made possible, and public acceptance for the deployment of the natural gas substitute must be secured.
The PBO has conducted a thorough analysis of current legal framework on biomethane at both the national and EU level, identifying the key regulatory and organizational barriers to a sussessful launch of the first biomethane plants in Poland. They are identical to the conclusions recently presented by the government plenipotentiary’s expert team for rural energy transformation. “Our goal, as an organization representing leading industry experts and fuel, energy and heating companies which recognize biomethane production potential in Poland, is to ensure that investments in biomethane plants are economically viable, offering stable prospects not only for years, but decades. While discussing the energy transition in Poland, which is currently dominated by nuclear power and hydrogen issues, we must not forget about biomethane as an energy source that is literally within arm’s reach,” said Michal Tarka, Director General of the Polish Biomethane Organization.
Key areas requiring changes in the Polish legislation include: the introduction of a legal definition of biomethane, creation of support schemes to stimulate biomethane market development, integration of biomethane into the gas grids, investment and construction facilitation and introduction of biomethane as fuel for fulfilment of national indicative target (NCW), and using biomethane to meet the National Indicative Target for the use of biofuels by the transportation sector, i.e. the percentage of biomethane, as a natural gas substitute, in the total amount of fuels used in all types of road and rail transport. The above recommendations are based on an analysis conducted by the PBO, which is currently working on a comprehensive report on the development of the biomethane market in Poland.
“We have a unique opportunity to create a completely new branch not only of energy but also an economy that takes into account the needs of both rural and urban areas. The increasing price of natural gas and supply issues can help advance the deployment of this renewable gas. Biomethane can play the same strategic role in securing Poland’s energy independence as other forms of RES. It is now time for concrete decisions and the introduction of solutions unlocking the potential of the Polish energy sector and economy,”- concluded Michał Tarka.
Biomethane is the purified form of raw biogas that has the same chemical composition and energetic properties as fossil-based natural gas. Biomethane is a zero-emission fuel, which makes it fully environment friendly. As a renewable source, it can be used for heating purposes and as fuel for vehicles. It can also be used for electricity production. The biomethane plant is the hub of the circular economy as waste from industrial processes, water management and agriculture is converted into renewable energy, helping to avoid emissions.
About the Polish Biomethane Organization (PBO):
The Polish Biomethane Organization (PBO) was established on September 6, 2022, and represents industry experts and leading fuel, energy and heating companies operating in Poland. There are currently 540 biomethane plants in Europe. The PBO members include: Veolia Energia Polska, Orlen Południe, Gas Transmission Operator Gaz-System, Duon Dystrybucja, Go&Biogas, Selena Green Investments, Unimot, Atrem, the Association of Sugar Producers (groups: Krajowa Grupa Spożywcza, Nordzucker, Südzucker, Pfeifer&Langen), Łukasiewicz – the New Chemical Syntheses Institute (INS) and SMM Legal Energy. The PBO advocates for the development of the biomethane market to accelerate Poland’s energy transition and independence from external energy supplies. The PBO represents the interests of the associated members not only at national, but also at international level.