EU Member States come together in Madrid for the first workshop of Task Force 1

Brussels, 13th of April. The representatives of EU Member States convened for the first workshop of Task Force 1 in Madrid on the 27th and 28th of March. With a tour of a biogas treatment plant and in-depth discussions on biomethane, this workshop set the stage for a sustained collaboration within Task Force 1 to drive the potential of the industry forward.

The first day began with a tour of the Valdemingómez Biogas Treatment Plant, an upgrading facility that converts biogas from a 2 km and 1.5 km away biogas sites into biomethane. Located in the Valdemingómez Ecological Park, it is part of Madrid’s waste treatment system. The visit was well received among the participants, highlighting how innovative technologies arranged in a business model that collects and upgrades biomethane away from the biogas production sites and sustainable practices can be combined to turn waste into a valuable resource. A strong reminder of how already existing biogas from landfills and urban waste can be integrated in the energy system to decarbonise the national and EU economy, the visit set the tone for the afternoon’s workshop.

“We are at the turning point for the definitive take off of biomethane”. With these words, Mr. Cabo, Deputy Director General for Hydrocarbons and New Fuels from the Spanish Ministry, kicked off the workshop. He highlighted Spain’s commitment to ramping up biomethane development, its ambition to support the European target and willingness to collaborate with other Member States to achieve collective success. The first day focused on exploring biomethane support schemes, with fruitful discussions among Member States about their pros and cons. It was noted that support schemes can help reach the 2030 biomethane targets, provide security to investors and ramp up the market. Two case studies were also presented. The Danish case study demonstrated that by streamlining the process, permitting times can be significantly reduced. On the other hand, the Italian case was an example of how biomethane schemes can incentivize the construction of new biomethane plants and upgrading the existing facilities.

On the second day of the Workshop, the Spanish Ministry presented their latest biomethane policies, highlighting Spain’s dedication to the advancement of the biomethane sector. After communicating NECPR status, the Member States engaged in a lively discussion on the developments in biomethane across the EU. Many Member States demonstrated their ambition to increase the use of biomethane and shared their plans for achieving this goal. The discussion covered a range of topics clustered around accelerating permitting process, including support schemes for biomethane, and new biomethane plant projects. The day ended with the co-chair of the second Task Force presenting on the state of permitting in the EU, complementing the previous day’s discussion. Members States shared experiences and identified ways to enhance the permitting process, highlighting the importance of working together to achieve common goals.

With Member States demonstrating their ambition to increase the use of biomethane and their commitment to achieving collective success, this workshop has set the foundation for a sustained collaboration within Task Force 1 to drive the biomethane industry forward.