15. 3. 2023
Biomethane production set a record in Europe in 2021. Despite significant potential, the Czech Republic still lags bahind
The number of biogas and biomethane sources in Europe has been growing steadily in recent years. According to a report by the European Biogas Association (EBA), more than 18,000 biogas and 792 biomethane plants were in operation on the continent in 2021. Despite this positive trend, the Czech Republic is still lagging behind in the operation of biomethane plants.
Only two biomethane plants are currently in operation in the country. This is a very low figure compared to other European countries, which, according to the EBA, is due to several factors. These include a lack of political will, insufficient financial incentives and an inappropriate regulatory framework.
The Czech Republic has one of the lowest shares of renewable energy in the EU. In 2020, it was only 15 per cent. A significant barrier to achieving a better result is the poor use of biomethane.
“The Czech Republic has considerable potential for biomethane production, as it has one of the highest numbers of biogas plants in the EU and a relatively dense network of pipelines. The introduction of biomethane can play a major role in the future not only in transport and the heating industry, but also in the energy sector, where it can partially replace natural gas,” says Monika Zitterbartová, Executive Director of HUTIRA green gas.
The Czech Republic can boast of its unique project – a biomethane plant in Litomyšl
Unlike in the Czech Republic, the situation in Europe is different, mainly due to supportive policies in all EU Member States. Although the construction of biomethane plants in Europe is increasing, not all of them plan to connect to the distribution network.
“One of the first projects in the Czech Republic in this respect is an agricultural waste biomethane plant, which we completed in Litomyšl. It produces biomethane from animal and crop agricultural waste and then injects it into the GasNet gas network. The goal of the investor, which is ZDCHP Litomyšl, is to offer this energy source to customers in the future,” explains Mrs Zitterbartová.
However, despite this successful project, the Czech Republic is still lagging behind in the operation of biomethane plants. “We need a comprehensive strategy and a clear legislative framework to regulate and support biomethane. This is the only way to fully exploit the significant potential of green gas,” concluded Mrs Zitterbartová.
HUTIRA is a member of the European Biomethane Association (EBA) and, in relation to this membership, we also signed the Biomethane Declaration presented to the European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson in 2021 at an online conference.