- Poland has the potential to produce as many as 8 billion cubic meters of biomethane per year, provided that new support mechanisms and measures for biomethane production are introduced.
- The PBO praises the Ministry of Climate and Environment for including new support mechanism for biomethane production and use in the legislative review of the amendment to the Renewable Energy Sources Act.
- At the same time, the PBO draws the attention to the need for much more forward-looking support mechanisms necessary to fully unlock the huge biomethane potential.
- In addition to amplifying the support system, the PBO calls on the Climate Ministry to introduce additional regulatory measures to help facilitate and accelerate the deployment of biomethane in Poland.
On March 11, the Ministry of Climate and Environment published the draft act on the amendment to the Renewable Energy Sources Act and certain other acts (government legislation center number: UC99). The Polish Biomethane Organization (PBO) welcomes the addition of a new chapter devoted to support mechanisms and measures for biomethane production in installations designed for renewable energy sources, as an important step towards the deployment of biomethane, which is an environment friendly and cost-effective alternative for natural gas. “However, as an organization that was established to support the deployment of biomethane in Poland, we see the need for the inclusion of additional solutions that will actually facilitate and accelerate the development of the biomethane industry,” – said Michal Tarka, Director General of the Polish Biomethane Organization.
In addition to expanding the new support scheme introduced, the PBO calls for the implementation of additional legal norms and process improvements. In particular, the PBO stresses the need for introducing support schemes for biomethane installations with a capacity of more than 1 MW and support schemes for installations transporting biomethane in a compressed or liquefied form by other means than gas grids; biomethane injection into national gas grid; the introduction of investment and construction facilitation for installations designed for renewable energy sources in which biomethane will be produced; and the introduction of biomethane as fuel for fulfilment of national indicativetarget (NCW), 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.
To date, not a single biomethane plant has been built in Poland. Barriers include lack of stable support schemes, lack of simplified environmental impact assessment procedures for larger projects, and absence of regulatory incentives for gas grid operators to connect biomethane plants. “The development of the biomethane sector in Poland poses a challenge that can only be met in collaboration between all stakeholders: the Ministry of Climate and Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, oil and gas companies and the biogas industry. The huge potential of biomethane can be deployed if such difficult projects, as large scale biomethane production, receive support enabling them to maintain economic viability,” – the PBO statement reads.
According to the PBO, modern biomethane plants in Poland should produce a minimum of 5 -12 million cubic meters of biomethane per year, which corresponds to installations with an installed capacity of 3 – 6 MW. Therefore, the support scheme proposed by the government should also include plants with a capacity of more than 1 MW. The long-term investment horizon for biomethane productions requires a stable and secure support scheme for a sufficient period of time, one that will provide investors with a good return on investment. Given the scale of the projects and the significantly high level of investment, the PBO calls for a longer period of support than in the case of other RES technologies. According to the PBO, a period of 20 years starting from the launch of biomethane production is required in order to cover the negative balance. Such a maximum period of support corresponds to the average lifespan of a biomethane plant.
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.