12 Member States convene in Rome for second successful workshop of Task Force 1

Brussels, 12th of September. The Member States of Task Force 1 convened for a second successful in-person workshop on the 31st of August and 1st of September in Rome. With representatives from 12 Member States, this event was a remarkable opportunity for the exchange of knowledge, overcoming barriers and drawing inspiration from Italy’s biomethane journey. This collaborative momentum reinforced Member States’ commitment to drive the biomethane industry forward.

The Member States of Task Force 1 convened for a second successful in-person workshop on the 31st of August and 1st of September in Rome. With representatives from 12 Member States, the European Commission, the Italian Energy Services Agency, the Italian Biogas Association and delegates from Task Force 2, this event was a remarkable opportunity for the exchange of knowledge, overcoming barriers, and drawing inspiration from Italy’s biomethane journey. The participating Member States, including Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Belgium (Flanders), France, Italy, Ireland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden, brought a lively spirit of collaboration and strengthened their ambition to accelerate biomethane growth.

The workshop started with an inspiring visit to the Maccarese Farm, located 20 km from Rome. The visit was met with enthusiasm by the Member States, offering a demonstration of how biomethane production can be integrated into sustainable farming practices, including minimum tillage, utilization of digestate as natural fertilizer and drip irrigation techniques. This farm, characterized by a large agricultural and livestock area and integrated with a protected area managed by the WWF, has introduced since 2010 two biogas plants fueled by the farm’s livestock manure and silage and currently has plans for upgrading to two biomethane plants with a capacity of 1MWh each. During the workshop, Guido Bezzi, Head of Agronomy at the Italian Biogas Association, took a deep dive into these practices with an insightful presentation on the “Biogas Done Right” concept.

The afternoon session began with introductory speeches that focused on Italy’s ongoing biomethane projects and the pivotal role of the Biomethane Industrial Partnership in accelerating biomethane growth. Ornella Bonanni from the Italian Energy Services Agency, Guido Di Napoli from the Italian Ministry of the Environment and Energy Security, Biljana Kulisic from the European Commission, and Dinand Drankier representing the Netherlands, set the stage for two days of fruitful discussions and collaboration.

Over the course of the two dynamic days, Member States shared best practices with counterparts from other Member States, the European Commission and delegates from Task Force 2. Italy shared valuable insights into how it is implementing its NECP, highlighting ambitious biomethane production targets for 2026 (3.5 BCM) and 2030 (5.8 BCM). The workshop also bridged Task Force 1 and Task Force 2, introducing for the first time the latter’s draft deliverable, “A vision on how to accelerate biomethane project development”, for discussion and feedback from Member States. This collaborative spirit resulted in key agreements, reinforcing the importance of a long-term predictable investment framework, simplified permitting procedures, improved data sharing, increased public awareness and enhanced engagement with policy makers and experts. Biljana Kulisic, policy officer at DG ENER and co-chair of Task Force 1, shared lessons on NECPs’ targets, fueling the Member States’ determination to reach the goal of 35 BCM by 2030.

The workshop sparked lively discussions also on the Task Force 1’s first draft deliverable “Biomethane incentives and their effectiveness”. Member States delved into the effectiveness of various incentive schemes within their respective countries, unanimously acknowledging the pivotal role of production subsidies, such as feed-in tariffs, feed-in premiums, and Contracts for Difference, in facilitating initial investments. Simultaneously, they recognized that demand-side actions, including quotas and greenhouse gas intensity reduction targets, promise to drive further growth in the sector.

In another inspiring presentation by Galin Gentchev, policy officer at DG ENER, the spotlight was on the need for a Union Database—a single IT platform aimed at streamlining cross-border biomethane trade, while ensuring compliance with EU green requirements, enhancing the traceability of gases and eliminating double counting, thereby boosting the efficiency and transparency of the EU biomethane market.