The Biomethane Industrial Partnership hosted the session “EU Feedstock Potential for Sustainable Biomethane” at EUBCE 2024 in Marseille

Brussels, 26th of June. Today the Biomethane Industrial Partnership hosted the session “EU Feedstock Potential for Sustainable Biomethane” during the European Biomass Conference & Exhibition in Marseille.

The session presented the BIP draft report on biomethane potential from novel cropping systems across Europe (Task Force 3.1) and the report on feedstock potential from marginal and contaminated lands (Task Force 3.2). Both reports emphasise these untapped sources of sustainable feedstocks, which could be exploited for achieving the EU’s goal of producing 35 billion cubic meters of biomethane annually by 2030.

Myrsini Christou, Head of Biomass at CRES and BIP Task Force 3 member, presented the Task Force 3.1 draft report, highlighting the environmental benefits of sequential and rotational crops. The draft report details potential cropping systems for Europe’s different biogeographical regions, estimating annual biomass potential production and, consequently, the “maximum” and “deliverable” potentials for biomethane production.

Marco Buffi, Scientific Project Officer at JRC and co-chair of Task Force 3, presented the Task Force 3.2 report. The report explores the potential of cultivating biomass on marginal and contaminated lands in Europe, provides an overview of existing definitions, and connects ongoing projects with current legislation to facilitate their use through cross-policy opportunities.

Efthymia Alexopoulou, Head of Industrial & Energy Crops at the Biomass Department of CRES, presented three Horizon Europe projects: GOLD, CERESIS, and PHY2CLIMATE. These initiatives aim to cultivate crops on contaminated land to produce feedstock for biofuel production globally.

Berien Elbersen, Senior Researcher at Wageningen University, highlighted the Horizon Europe projects MAGIC, BIKE, and MIDAS, focused on restoring degraded lands.

A panel discussion followed between Jean-François Delaitre, President of the Association des Agriculteurs Méthaniseurs de France, Guido Bezzi, Head of Agronomy Area at Consorzio Italiano Biogas, Cyril Flamin, Strategy and Market Analyst for Biomass and co-Products at ENGIE, and Alessandro Agostini, Head of the Sustainability of Energy Technologies unit at ENEA.

Delaitre emphasised the importance of the BIP’s work for France in the context of the food versus fuel debate and shared the experiences of French farmers. He called for practical experimentation over the next five years to scale BIP initiatives locally and provide farmers with the tools needed for implementation.

Bezzi discussed Italy’s experience in novel cropping systems. He emphasised the potential of these new methods to improve agricultural practices in Europe and the “Biogas Done Right” concept.

Flamin informed that ENGIE plans to expand biogas production in eight EU countries by 2030, emphasising the plan to use novel cropping systems to secure feedstocks, the primary challenge being the transformation of these plans into actual field production. Efforts are needed to overcome barriers such as crop risks due to climate conditions and exploring ways to increase crop value through digestate use to ensure economic and sustainable outcomes.

Agostini mentioned the challenges posed by the certification of crops’ sustainability and called for increased cooperation between the scientific community, the regulators and the certification bodies to agree on a clear and well-functioning certification system.

 

Watch the session recording!