17 Member States convene for three dynamic days of Task Force 1 Workshop in Tallinn

Brussels, 4th of March. 17 Member States came together for the third dynamic workshop of Task Force 1 in Tallinn. From February 28 to March 1, 2024, the Member States deep dived into biomethane, exchanging best practices through insightful visits, networking opportunities, and informative sessions. Participating Member States included Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Belgium (Flanders), Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia and Spain.

The workshop kicked off with a visit to the Maardu biomethane factory, the first plant in the entire Baltics to handle household and commercial biowaste, predominantly food waste. The facility processes a significant quantity of biowaste from the Tallinn area, fueling the natural gas network and CNG-powered vehicles, including public buses, while also producing biofertilizer for land improvement—a win-win solution for waste management and sustainable agriculture.

Another highlight was the visit to the Tallinn bus center, showcasing the utilization and promotion of biomethane within the municipality through the use of biomethane-powered buses. Notably, 7% of the biomethane used in these buses is provided by the Maardu factory.

Member States also learnt about Elcogen’s unique solidoxide fuelcell technology, an alternative method for electricity generation from biomethane.

The workshop covered NECP drafts and Member States’ biomethane strategies for 2024 and beyond, showcasing best practices from France, Czech Republic, and Ireland to spark discussions. The workshop’s special focus on the Baltic States provided a platform for Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to share their respective plans and experiences. Estonia aims to construct 1 GW of renewable gas capacity by 2030, with an upcoming 2024 analysis that will specify biomethane production resources, and develop sustainable valorisation plans for diverse biomass sources and broader integration of biomethane and biogas in the energy sector. Latvia and Lithuania also outlined their plans, with Lithuania aiming for 950 GWh production by 2030 and a focus on biomethane for transportation. Financial support initiatives are underway to boost biomethane projects.

Collaboration was key, with Member States emphasizing the importance of integrated policy development. This approach recognizes biomethane’s links to agriculture, energy, economy, and to various other sectors, stressing the significance of collaboration among different departments within Member States to progress the sector.

The workshop also facilitated connections with other Task Forces, including a whole dedicated session to Task Force 4.4 on optimizing the costs associated with biomethane grid injection. Member States highlighted obstacles such as difficulty in allocating costs when multiple companies share injection points, uncertainties in future plant locations, land ownership issues and regulatory complexities hindering collaboration. Feedback on best practices included the concept of a BioCNG and BioLNG virtual pipeline with socialized costing, the potential of reverse flow mechanisms, the importance of pre-planning, mapping, establishment of registries to streamline operations and collaborating with electricity network operators to reduce injection costs.

Looking ahead, Member States identified crucial areas for the BIP’s future work, highlighting as top priorities best practices for target setting and framing support schemes, optimizing grid injection processes, further advancing production sustainability, community engagement and CO₂ accounting, and fostering interaction and facilitating more knowledge exchange with other Task Forces. The momentum generated in Tallinn promises continued work progress among the Member States and the other Task Forces in the months to come.

 

Check out the photos of the event!