- As a country highly developed in agriculture, Poland is rich in waste and by-products that can be used to produce biomethane, which can be used as a natural gas substitute
- According to the PBO, combining agricultural activity with biomethane production would help increase waste management efficiency and farm profitability, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance energy security in rural areas.
- The PBO is of the opinion that Poland’s biogas and biomethane production does not correlate with the actual potential and benefits of renewable gas. Currently, there are 146 agricultural biogas plants operating in Poland, but none of them produce biomethane.
- While the Agriculture Ministry’s proposed draft act on agricultural biogas plants could provide a boost to biogas and biomethane production in rural areas, the PBO believes that in order to unlock the full potential of the biomethane industry, comprehensive investment facilitation measures for potential investors, including those outside the agricultural industry, are essential.
On April 4, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development published the draft act on facilitating the preparation and implementation of investments in agricultural biogas plants (government legislation center number: UD485). The Polish Biomethane Organization (PBO) welcomes the second draft act, following the draft act on Renewable Energy Sources presented in March 2023, related to the production of biomethane from agricultural biogas, as a fundamental step towards the deployment of biomethane in Poland.
However, given the current stage of development of the biomethane industry in Poland, with the number of biomethane plants equal to zero, the PBO is of the opinion that any support measures proposed in the draft act should be extended to all, not just agricultural, entities interested in investing in agricultural biogas plants. The PBO has identified key barriers that need to be alleviated, mainly concerning biomethane integration into the gas grid and investment facilitation for new biogas plants. The PBO also strongly advocates for making biomethane injection into gas networks technically viable.
According to the PBO, the deployment of the new industry will not be possible without the introduction of measures facilitating and accelerating the various stages of the investment and construction process for biomethane installations, including environmental decisions, construction permits and occupancy permits. They should also be treated as public purpose investments under the law. “We strongly believe that the deployment of biomethane plants should not be restricted by spatial planning constraints, as this will drastically hinder the development of any biomethane project. We also lack facilitation with respect to the environmental proceedings,” – said Michal Tarka, Director General of the Polish Biomethane Organization.
The PBO is in favour of exempting plants with a capacity of 10 million m3/year of biomethane, which corresponds to a RES plant with a capacity up to 5 MW, from the obligation to obtain environmental decisions. Biomethane can play a pivotal role in reducing methane emissions in the agricultural and waste management sectors. The PBO also proposes that any restrictions related to the use of agricultural land as part of investments in biomethane plants are eliminated. “The majority of plants can be located on agricultural land, especially that biomethane installations are undoubtedly related to agri-food activities. Thus, they can help boost rural areas and constitute the final step in closing the carbon loop,” said Director General Michal 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.