Biogas Sector Urges Government Help for Global Expansion

Canada’s Greenlane Renewables (Greenlane) has joined major biogas organisations and companies to announce a ground-breaking Biogas and Climate Change Commitment Declaration.

The declaration has been led by the World Biogas Association (WBA), to call on the world’s governments to act urgently to unlock the sector’s potential to cut global greenhouse gas emissions by at least 12% within the next 10 years, and therefore make a considerable contribution towards meeting their Paris Agreement targets.

In return, the companies commit to putting their full human, financial and technological resources behind enabling the rapid expansion of biogas in all parts of the globe. It is the first time that so many powerful biogas organisations join forces to both demand – and deliver – solutions to address climate change.

In its recent report, the Global Potential of Biogas, WBA estimated that the number of industrial plants operating globally are currently 132,000. By 2030 there need to be at least 1 million large scale installations (each handling over 100,000 t/pa of feedstock) plus millions of smaller scale digesters, to achieve the emissions reductions targets. All of these units would enable the biogas industry to prevent 4bn tonnes of CO2 equivalent from being emitted annually – the equivalent of all the emissions of the EU28 in 2017. The sector will need to invest some $5 trillion to design, build and operate those plants, but all barriers to those investments existing today must be eliminated if the industry is to achieve its goal. If deployed to its full potential, WBA estimates that the industry would employ around 10 million people worldwide, from 350,000 currently.

“As leaders in our industry, we are calling upon all levels of government from around the world to take a stand and support the potential for the biogas industry to significantly cut global greenhouse gases,” said Brad Douville, Chief Executive Officer of Greenlane. “Greenlane’s biogas upgrading systems produce clean, low-carbon renewable natural gas from a wide range of organic waste sources. By creating favourable policies to fight against climate change we can leverage existing biogas technologies to make a significant contribution to reduce greenhouse gases.”

WBA President David Newman said: “With measures on the ground not yet aligned with countries’ Paris Agreement targets and UN Sustainable Development Goals commitments, the biogas industry calls on the world’s governments to urgently pass legislation to unleash the enormous potential of the biogas industry. We provide a ready to use technology to cut emissions in the hardest to decarbonise sectors, while creating a circular system that transforms the greenhouse gas-emitting organic wastes society produces into renewable energy, biofertilisers and other valuable bioproducts. The speed at which climate change is accelerating emphasises the urgent need for responses that go beyond the business-as-usual to remove the barriers to large scale investment in biogas technologies. We need decisive actions now.”

Mr Newman and WBA Chief Executive Charlotte Morton are expected to deliver the Declaration in person to H.E. Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change at the COP25 meeting in Spain.