Natural Gas Transmission System Operator
16.06.2021
Biomethane market activity shows need for development
 
With 8 applications for biomethane power plants to be connected to the gas transmission grid in the last six months, system operator Amber Grid has seen a rapidly growing interest in investing in biogas production. Large industrial companies and new entrants are very actively exploring the possibility of installing biogas plants, connecting them to the gas transmission system and supplying the biomethane produced to the domestic and foreign markets through the Guarantee of Origin trade. 
 
It is estimated that if the businesses that have applied for connection to the gas transmission system were to implement their projects and continuously maximise capacity utilisation, the amount of green gas they would transport would be around 0.7-0.8 terawatt hours (TWh), or 2-3% of Lithuania's total annual gas consumption.
“For some time now, we have seen active interest and action by biomethane market players to connect to the gas system and develop their biomethane business. We want to create the most attractive conditions and remove the barriers that are beyond our control so that the well-developed gas infrastructure can be used not only for conventional gas but also for the transport of renewable energy such as biomethane and hydrogen. The integration of green gas into the common energy system is now the key energy objective for European countries, and this is a major future opportunity for our customers," said Nemunas Biknius, CEO of Amber Grid.
Connecting the plant to the Lithuanian gas transmission system may require an additional section of gas pipeline from the grid to the production facility. Businesses intending to develop biomethane production must also have a land plot and obtain the consent of the residents to build a new energy production facility, as well as install their own infrastructure on all land plots between the biomethane plant and the gas transmission system. Amber Grid is conducting a market survey to clarify as many aspects of the biogas market and operations as possible and to improve the conditions for biomethane producers to connect to the transmission grid. 
 
The potential for the development of the national biomethane sector has been strengthened by the adoption of the Law on Alternative Fuels in spring. It aims to achieve 15% renewable energy use in the transport sector by 2030, by increasing the electrification of transport, promoting the use of biomethane and hydrogen gas, and increasing the blending requirements for biofuels. By 2030, gaseous renewable fuels are expected to account for 5% of all fuels used in Lithuania's transport sector. Initially, this is planned to be biomethane gas, to be complemented by raw hydrogen and other renewable gases. The new legislative framework will encourage investors to build biogas plants, connect them to the gas grid and create the conditions for the development of the market for guarantees of origin for green gas.
 
In addition to its role as the national administrator of the green gas Guarantee of Origin, Amber Grid participates in the activities of European associations dealing with green gas development and Guarantees of Origin issues. 
 
Biogas energy produced from food waste, manure or agricultural residues is part of the circular economy and is considered one of the most advanced forms of renewable energy and is being actively developed in many European countries. 
 
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