A state-of-play on the potential of green gas during the EU Green Week

Green gas has a role to play in the development of more sustainable cities and communities compliant with climate targets. EU institutions have introduced new regulatory frameworks to boost circular economy and increase the renewable energy share, as the recast of Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) and the waste package. The EU Green Week 2018 was an excellent occasion to analyse the implications and opportunities of this new framework, aimed at promoting sustainable development for EU citizens and communities. This annual event features a main conference in Brussels and many exciting events organised by partners around Europe, taking place from the end of April until mid-May.

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Biorefine Cluster Europe in cooperation with EBA and EUBIA and the joint efforts to discuss the advantages of green gases in the reduction of GHG emissions and promote circular economy, including waste-to-energy valorisation. These issues were discussed during a the workshop “Greening the gas grid for sustainable cities and communities” held yesterday in Brussels.

RED II is one of the main legislative elements to reduce energy dependence on fossil fuels, but other elements might be needed to better achieve this objective. According to Bart Mertens, advisor to MEP Kathleen van Brempt who gave an overview on the RED II file, the EU should not only work on RED II, but also on developing a renewable feedstock directive to create a market for biobased industries. 

In the gas sector, some initiatives are being developed to promote the use and commercialisation of green gas. One of these is the European Renewable Gas Registry (ERGaR), aimed at facilitating cross border trade of biomethane. Biomethane has an important potential on transport decarbonisation. EBAs Michael Chesshire, speaker and moderator of this workshop, explained that waste streams from an average European city of 100.000 citizens can produce enough energy for 300 buses, or feeding its own public transport needs. 

Different projects are in place to unlock the potential of green the gas grid using biomethane or biogas, such as the inspiring initiatives presented by Nature Energy (Denmark), Landwarme (Germany) and IOK Afvalbeheer (Belgium). The workshop was finalized with an overview of three different projects financed by the European Commission boosting the potential of green gas: BiogasAction, BioCat and SaltGae.