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Innovative biomethane for REPowerEU

Ending Europe’s reliance on fossil fuel imports

REPowerEU aims to rapidly reduce the EU’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels by accelerating the transition to clean energy. It puts forward a Biomethane action plan with the objective of increasing the production of biomethane in the EU to 35 billion cubic metres per year to replace 20 % of Russian natural gas imports. It is one of a raft of overlapping policies supporting the development of biomethane. The EU has been supporting research and innovation in biomethane under the Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe programmes for development and demonstration of innovative biomethane technologies and market uptake measures. Biomethane is also an essential part of the SET-Plan Action 8: Bioenergy and Renewable Fuels for Sustainable Transport. This impact can be further accelerated through the new European innovation agenda and the EU’s new ERA for Research and Innovation for creating necessary research and innovation skills. The European Green Deal will transform the EU’s economy towards a sustainable future and climate neutrality by 2050 through the ‘Fit for 55’ package of legislation which includes actions on renewable energy with specific targets for advanced biofuels and biogas set in the Revision of the Renewable Energy Directive II. The Green Deal industrial plan for the net-zero age through the Net Zero Industry Act will provide a more supportive environment for the scaling up of the EU’s manufacturing capacity for net zero technologies including biomethane.

© European Union, 2023

“Biomethane is essential for the EU to achieve its energy autonomy and climate neutrality fast and in a cost-effective way. Research and innovation is key to advancing novel and competitive biomethane solutions to boost its share in the EU energy mix by 2030 and 2050 and help reach Europe’s ambitious goals for a green and secure energy transition.”

Marc Lemaître, Director-General, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation

Biomethane is a renewable gas that can substitute fossil natural gas in all of today’s applications, using the existing gas infrastructure. It can be used in power plants to generate electricity, in industrial plants to meet the demand for electricity and heat, in buildings for heating, in transport as fuel, in chemical processes as feedstock and for energy storage as an energy carrier for hydrogen. It can therefore displace and reduce natural gas imports, while accelerating the green energy transition and contributing to the European Green Deal’s climate and energy targets for 2030 and beyond. For this reason, REPowerEU names biomethane as a priority for diversifying the EU gas supplies and aims to double its targeted production levels by 2030. This will bolster Europe’s energy security and speed up its independence from fossil coal, oil and natural gas. Biomethane today is commercially produced in small quantities by upgrading biogas. However, to reach the ambitious EU targets in a cost-competitive way and diversify our energy mix, in particular in the gas-consuming sectors, we need to develop and demonstrate advanced technologies for the efficient production of biomethane. This is where research and innovation has a key role to play in making the gas supply cleaner, more secure, reliable and competitive. The EU’s research and innovation framework programmes Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe have continuously supported novel, sustainable and circular biomethane technologies and their market uptake with EU public funds. In this specially-commissioned Projects Info Pack, you will discover 15 selected projects on innovative biomethane that are contributing to boosting its production and place in the EU energy market.