Spain, one of the EU countries with the greatest technical potential to produce biogas, maintains a deep gap in the development of this technology with respect to the rest of Europe. And it is that, compared to the almost 20,000 biogas plants available on the continent, the Spanish territory does not reach 250adding the 3 subsectors: livestock farming, water treatment plants (WWTP) and landfills (such as Valdemingmez).
This is how he explains it to this newspaper Francisco Repullo, president of the Spanish Biogas Association (AEBIG), who points out that the minority of the facilities are agricultural and livestock, about 50, despite the fact that this subsector has more than 75% of the potential for fuel production. The same happens with biomethane (injectable into the gas network). According to the expert, of the more than 1,000 European biomethane plants, Spain only has 5.
“The model to be followed by Spain is the French because we are very similar from an agricultural, livestock and extension point of view,” Repullo points out. However, as he points out, France already exceeds 700 biomethane plants. “It is putting new plants into operation at a rate of two per week,” says the expert. But, Why is there so much difference between Spain and France having similar characteristics? The key is in the help system. “In France they have some very interesting grants. The entire injection module, the verification and control cabin or the connection branch are not the responsibility of the producer,” argues the president of the biogas association.
The industry has a feed-in tariff, tariffs that offer cost-based compensation to producers, giving them price certainty, and long-term contracts that help finance investments. “We have been demanding something similar to the French model from the government for a long time, but the problem appears when you go from the technical to the political level,” he denounces.
In March of this year the Government approved the biogs roadmap. “First, the hydrogen came out first to everyone’s surprise, when this is still a bet for the future. And we got the great surprise that while everyone points to a target for 2030 of approximately 10% of consumption and Spain remains in 3.5%”, says the expert.
The roadmap establishes the implementation of a system of guarantees of origin, which “should have already been in force in July of last year,” says the president of AEBIG. “The partial transposition of Network II has been done a couple of months ago and a draft was also released for public consultation, but the decree is not approved“, He says.
There is a significant demand for companies whose intention is to buy biomethane to obtain the certificates and avoid CO2 emission rights. In Spain it is impossible to satisfy this demand because there are not enough plants.
Since the country does not have a certification system that allows commuting or offsetting the purchase of rights, the little biomethane that is produced is sold abroad. “It is absurd that we make biomethane here and other countries are decarbonizing. We produce renewable gas without aid and others are decarbonizing,” he says.
energy and environmental solution
In addition to the advantages of developing biogas from an energy point of view, the need for which has been highlighted by the tension in the energy markets caused by the invasion of Ukraine, this technology offers important benefits in terms of the environment. The production of it contributes to the effect gas removal greenhouse and other emissions harmful to health. It also contributes to circular economy and set the rural population thanks to the growth of the business value chain.