Biomethane is an environmentally friendly, renewable fuel generated by anaerobic decomposition that can be mixed with natural gas if needed and which could in the future replace fossil fuels used in the transport sector.
The aim of the Estonian state is to increase use of renewable fuels in the transport sector to 10% by 2020, of which part is planned to be covered by biomethane. For this reason, the state has plans to develop the biomethane market and create the necessary conditions for this.
Elering, as the owner and system operator of the gas transmission network, has an important role in the promotion of biomethane production and consumption, as it can help in transporting biomethane to consumers and in biomethane calculations. In order for biomethane to reach consumers, Elering will create efficient conditions for biomethane producers to connect to the gas network, advise producers on finding connection options, and allow filling stations to quickly join new and existing gas networks. In addition, Elering will create and implement a certificate of origin system to verify the origin of gas for consumers.
According to the EU Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC, Estonia has an obligation to increase the share of renewable fuels consumed in the transport sector to 10% by 2020. In excess of 9.1 TWh of transport fuels are consumed in Estonia, almost two thirds of which is diesel and the remainder petrol. LPG and biofuel consumption in the transport sector has thus far been marginal. In order to increase biofuel consumption in Estonia, the state plans to develop biomethane production from local raw materials and to start using biomethane more widely in the transport sector.
According to a 2014 Estonian biomethane resource study carried out by the Development Fund, it is estimated that Estonia has the resources to produce up to 4.7 TWh (=483 mln m3) of biomethane a year, the raw materials for which would mainly be biomass from grasslands (83%) and waste from agricultural production (9.8%), but also biodegradable waste from industry, landfill gas, and waste from water treatment plants. The launch of biomethane production will introduce a supply source produced from local raw materials to the gas market, and will open a new area for gas consumption in the transport sector. Renewable fuel produced from local raw materials promotes sustainable regional development, diversifies the rural economy, and reduces dependence on imported fuel, while promoting distributed energy production and reducing environmental pollution.
Development of the biomethane market, final report 2016
In the course of the study, maps showing optimal locations for gas stations were also produced, and these can be requested at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.