About the partnership
The need to scale up biomethane in Europe is more urgent than ever, following the need to reduce dependency on natural gas imports from Russia and address high energy prices while simultaneously addressing the climate crisis. Biomethane is the cheapest and most rapidly scalable renewable gas available today. Therefore, the European Commission has announced in its recent REPowerEU plan a target to increase annual EU production and use of sustainable biomethane to 35 billion cubic metres by 2030. The Commission also announced the creation of a Biomethane Industrial Partnership (BIP). The BIP is an industrial partnership in which policy makers, industry and other stakeholders team up with the goal to support the achievement of the target of 35 billion cubic metres annual production and use of sustainable biomethane by 2030, and to create the preconditions for a further ramp-up of its potential towards 2050.
The Biomethane Industrial Partnership consists of a Governing Board, multiple Task Forces and a secretariat. The Governing Board is the highest body steering the Partnership, consisting of up to 7 members, including representatives of the European Commission, Member States and the biomethane value chain. The secretariat is responsible for day-to day operations of the BIP.
The Support Group (SG) represents the biomethane value chain in the BIP and financially supports the secretariat. Comprising up to twenty individual companies and the European Biogas Association, the SG has three main tasks: to supply two SG members to the Governing Board, propose SG members as Task Force co-chair candidates, and support company representatives in the Governing Board. SG membership mandates last two years, and companies in the biomethane value chain can apply for SG membership through selection criteria and voting processes published on the BIP website.
The current SG members are the following:
The work of the Biomethane Industrial Partnership is structured in five Task Forces in which members collaborate at expert level on specific topics on the basis of the partnership’s Work Programme. Task Forces work on specific pre-defined actions and create deliverables that help to achieve the goal of the partnership. All EU policy makers, Member State representatives, companies active in biomethane and other stakeholders that wish to actively contribute and be involved to achieving the goal of the Partnership can sign up for Task Force membership. The following five Task Forces have been created:
Task Force 1 focuses on the creation of national biomethane targets, strategies and policies. The Task Force provides input to Member States and initiates a framework for bilateral collaboration between Member States to facilitate capacity building. The deliverables of this Task Force feed into national biomethane strategies to be incorporated into the draft updated National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs), scheduled June 30th 2023. This Task Force is composed of ministry-level representatives of the Member States. Value chain members (associated members to Task Force 1) support the Member States by sharing the perspective and needs from the market ranging from production to end-use. Also after completion of national biomethane strategies, this Task Force can continue to work on facilitating and sharing best practices on biomethane policy making.
Task Force 2 focuses on the need to rapidly increase and secure sustainable biomethane production capacity. As part of its work, the Task Force assesses opportunities to boost innovation and projects size via access to EU funds, examines existing barriers to the use of biomethane, and addresses the creation of a cross-border EU market for biomethane. The Task Force also examines supply chain security, assesses the situation of biomethane production in areas without nearby gas grids and works to improve biomethane permitting. This Task Force is mainly composed of companies active in the biomethane value chain.
Task Force 3 assesses the sustainable potential for innovative biomass sources to produce biomethane. A significant effort is required to collect sustainable biomass feedstock to feed additional biomethane production installations. As part of its work, this Task Force focuses on assessing the EU-wide potential for sustainable rotational/sequential cropping to produce biomethane feedstock and the EU-wide potential for feedstock production on marginal and contaminated land. Other topics to be covered are an assessment of carbon budget, soil nutrient, water and biodiversity implications of rotational/sequential cropping and potentials of additional innovative sustainable biomethane feedstocks, including wastes and residues. This Task Force is mainly composed of companies active in the biomethane value chain.
Task Force 4 identifies and facilitates ways to decrease the cost of production and grid connection. Biomethane can contribute to a cost-effective energy transition and while scaling up biomethane, efforts to further drive down production costs can enable continued growth. Topics covered by this Task Force include a business case optimisation for biomethane production, the creation of a consumer guide for biomethane investors and facilitating the creation of standardised product offerings. This Task Force is mainly composed of companies active in the biomethane value chain.
Task Force 5 identifies the current status of R, D&I in biomethane production, grid connection and end-use applications and recommends future R, D&I needs. Continuous research, development and innovation (R, D&I) are important for future growth and to increase Europe’s strategic autonomy in green technology. Topics to be covered by this Task Force are an assessment of innovative thermochemical, biochemical and biological technologies for biomethane production and an improvement of anaerobic digestion and methanation technologies. This Task Force is characterised by a significant presence of academia, associations and technology providers.