Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Posted by BioMethER
No comments | Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Snam and Baker Hughes (BHGE) signed an agreement aimed at developing micro-liquefaction infrastructure to boost clean mobility in heavy duty trucks and to promote sustainability in maritime transportation in Italy. Both companies will determine by the end of 2018 the feasibility of the future development of four small-scale liquefaction plants distributed throughout the country. Each almost the size of a football field, these would be the first micro-LNG plants in Italy and among the first of their kind in Europe.

Source: NGV - Journal

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Posted by BioMethER
No comments | Thursday, April 19, 2018
The European Biomethane Conference offers a platform to discuss new trends and perspectives on biomethane and renewable gases in Europe. For the last three years, the conference took place in Berlin and received around 150 participants from more than 15 countries annually.

Why Dublin this year? The technical potential of biomethane in Ireland has been estimated at around 33PJ in 2020, equivalent to around 11% of final energy demand or a third of total gas demand. With this conference, organized jointly with RGFI, we are sending out a signal for the development of a biomethane market in Ireland.

Minister Denis Naugthen of the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment (DCCAE) has been invited to speak about Ireland contribution to fighting climate change. Malcolm McDowell of DG Energy will share the activities on the recast of Renewable Energy Directive and its implications for bioenergy.
More info

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Posted by BioMethER
No comments | Thursday, March 15, 2018
Today marks the first anniversary of the trial on the Panda powered only by biomethane produced at CAP Group’s wastewater treatment plant in Bresso-Niguarda (Milan). On 14 March 2017 Elisa Boscherini (Head of FCA Institutional Relations for the EMEA area) handed the car over to Alessandro Russo, Chairman of the CAP Group, in Turin. This marked the start of the #BioMetaNow project, involving FCA and the CAP Group together with the LifeGate network, which promotes sustainable development in Italy.

Read the full article here: Fiat Panda Natural Power runs on biomethane for a whole year

Monday, 5 March 2018

Posted by BioMethER
1 comment | Monday, March 05, 2018
The National Decree which is introducing a support scheme for biomethane, especially targeted to the transport sector, has been officially signed by the Ministry of Economic Development in Italy.

This Decree sets for Italy the target for renewable fuels at 10% by 2020, and within this target 0,9% from advanced biomethane and other advanced biofuels in 2020 and 1,5% in 2022. The Decree foresees also to substitute biofuels which are imported with national produced biofuels, supporting in this way the waste management and agricultural sector.

This paves the way towards the official uptake of the new Decree within the National Regulation, so long awaited by the biomethane sector to unlock private investments.

Source: Press Release, Italian Ministry of Economic Development

Posted by BioMethER
No comments | Monday, March 05, 2018
The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules an Italian support scheme for the production and distribution of advanced biofuels, including advanced biomethane. The measure will contribute to reaching EU energy and climate change goals while limiting distortions of competition.

The Italian scheme supports the production and distribution of advanced biofuels and advanced biomethane, also known as second and third-generation biofuels, for use in the transport sector. The scheme has an indicative budget of €4.7 billion and will run from 2018 until 2022.

Advanced biofuels and biomethane are the most sustainable and environmentally friendly biofuels. They are produced from feedstock that do not require agricultural land for their production, such as waste, agricultural residues, and algae. Therefore, they pose a significantly lower risk of indirect CO2 emissions caused by the use of additional land to grow crops for biofuels rather than for food and feed, and are particularly suited to help the EU achieve its climate and energy objectives.

Advanced biofuels and biomethane have much higher production costs than fossil fuels. Under the scheme, producers of advanced biomethane and biofuels receive a premium which allows them to compensate for these higher costs and compete with fossil fuels in the transport sector. The premium can be increased if producers also make investments to improve the distribution and liquefaction of advanced biomethane.

The level of the premium will be updated each year in relation to the production costs to ensure that producers are not overcompensated. The scheme will also incentivise farmers to produce biofuel and biomethane from manure and other residues originating from their farming activities and use them in turn to power their agricultural machines and vehicles. The scheme will be financed by transport fuel retailers who are obliged by law to include a certain percentage of advanced biofuels and biomethane in their fuel blends.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Posted by BioMethER
1 comment | Tuesday, February 27, 2018
A new study — Gas for Climate: how gas can help to achieve the Paris Agreement target in an affordable way — published by the Gas for Climate initiative, sets out a plan to meet the Paris Agreement target in a cost-effective way. It focuses on using renewable gas in existing gas infrastructure for the heating of buildings, to produce dispatchable electricity as a complement to wind and solar, and to fuel heavy transport.

Using existing gas infrastructure to reduce Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by mid-century can will enable compliance with the Paris Agreement to keep global warming well below 2°C, avoiding dangerous levels of climate change. The report authors propose that renewable gas could save about €140 billion annually by 2050 compared to a future energy system without any gas.

Initiated mid-2017, the Gas for Climate group consists of seven leading European gas transport companies (Enagás, Fluxys Belgium, Gasunie, GRTgaz, Open Grid Europe, Snam and TIGF) and two renewable gas industry associations (European Biogas Association and Consorzio Italiano Biogas). Gas for Climate commissioned Ecofys, a Navigant company, to prepare a study into the future role of gas in a net-zero emissions energy system.

Their study shows that it is possible to scale up renewable gas production between now and 2050 to more than 120 billion cubic metres annually, including both renewable hydrogen and biomethane. The biomethane potential is based on an early and conservative scenario on the sustainable use of European biomass potential.

Report extract: “Ecofys modelled the societal cost savings that can be achieved by using just 77 out of the 122 bcm of renewable methane and hydrogen in existing gas infrastructure to heat buildings, produce electricity and fuel heavy transport. Of this, 5 bcm allocated to transport is cost-neutral compared to biofuel, while providing a sustainable and scalable alternative to decarbonise heavy transport [trucks and shipping].”

The CEOs of the nine Gas for Climate members (Marco Alverà, Snam; Marcelino Oreja Arburúa, Enagás; Dr. Jörg Bergmann, Open Grid Europe; Pascal De Buck, Fluxys Belgium; Han Fennema, Gasunie; Piero Gattoni, Consorzio Italiano Biogas; Dominique Mockly, TIGF; Jan Štambaský, European Biogas Association; Thierry Trouvé, GRTgaz) jointly declared:

“We are committed to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions in the EU by 2050 to meet the Paris Agreement target. Renewable gas used in existing gas infrastructure can play an important role in this.

“We want to facilitate a large scale-up of EU produced renewable hydrogen and biomethane that is transported, stored and distributed through existing gas infrastructure to be used in our energy system in a smart combination with renewable electricity. This will help Europe to meet the Paris Agreement target at the lowest possible costs while enhancing Europe’s energy security.”

Source: NGV Europe

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Posted by Redazione
No comments | Tuesday, January 09, 2018
We can decarbonize industry thanks to carbon capture and storage, but we need EU’s help, said Statoil executive Sonja Chirico Indrebø.

Sonja Chirico Indrebø has been Statoil’s Vice President for Strategy and Innovation within New Energy Solutions since 2015. Between 2011 and 2015 she served as the Norwegian company’s Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President for IT.

One of your projects for transport of CO2 from the UK and the Netherlands and storage in Norway has been included in the latest list of EU’s Projects of Common Interest (PCI). These projects have high chances for EU funding. Why should the European tax payers fund a Norwegian project of carbon capture and storage (CCS)?

We have been storing CO2 in Norway for 25 years. We have built a lot of competence on how to store CO2 in a secure manner. And we believe the EU needs places to store CO2. 

In order to decarbonize in electricity, we can go towards renewables, batteries, demand response. But for the industry that uses a lot of heat it is very hard to go all-electric. And we already have the infrastructure for gas distribution to people’s homes, which we can reuse. If you take out the CO2 from natural gas, you can inject hydrogen into the pipelines. We don’t have to do a lot of changes to the infrastructure. It is a way of reducing costs for tax payers, while not having to invest into brand new electricity grids for everything.

What would the hydrogen serve for?
A project in Leeds, UK, is investigating if people’s homes can switch from natural gas to hydrogen. The natural gas comes to UK at Teesside. We are helping them with a study to split natural gas into hydrogen and CO2, which can be stored underground. The pipelines are then reused for the clean hydrogen. Natural gas is basically methane. If you add water at high temperature, you lose approximately 20 percent of the energy after removing the CO2. In our PCI, the CO2 is shipped to Norway. The main things that have to change in people’s homes are the burner and the cooker.

So this an alternative to burning natural gas.
Yes and it is CO2-free. The only thing generated from burning hydrogen is water.

But now we are talking about the heating sector, not industry.
The low-heating sector are households, the high heat is industry. Most of the industrial processes can reuse turbines and burners and switch the fuel from natural gas to hydrogen.

This process would obviously support demand for natural gas, which is your core business in Europe.
For us, it would mean that natural gas would still have a home in the zero-carbon world. It also means that Europe doesn’t have to take out all the infrastructure it has invested in for decades, and to start making a lot of high-voltage DC lines to distribute large amounts of electricity instead.

What is the budget of the PCI project and how much do you hope to get from the EU?
The project is a study about the viability of naval transport of CO2 from the UK and the Netherlands to Norway. But the big investment is in Norway, where the actual storage industry is built. The study itself is not a big investment. It is also important to ensure there are no legal barriers. The international rules say you cannot transport CO2 across borders.

So through the PCI list you also aim for the simplification of the regulatory process. Do you actually need the EU funding?
We do. This is about building common CO2 infrastructure that will have to be shared. There is no way this can be done by one person, one company or one country. It is about sharing the common view about how the future will look like.

The main hurdle of CCS projects has been the cost and EU has already invested millions of euros into them. Isn’t the price of carbon just too low for CCS to succeed in the EU?
Technology and cost are not the only reasons why projects have not succeeded. Most CCS projects have focused on power generation looking at how CO2 can be captured and sent away when coal is burned. This has been done many dispersed places, which is why it has become very costly. We believe we can do this upstream, when the CO2 is in large volumes.

You are not interested in clean coal power?
We don’t have competence in coal.
Eurelectric President Francesco Starace said: “I think CCS has not been successful. It doesn’t work, let’s call it what it is – it is simply too expensive, too cumbersome, the technology didn’t fly.” Would you tell him that you are not interested in power?
When I came into the business, I also thought CCS is all about capturing CO2 in power plants. But I learnt that CCS can be done at different stages. In coal, you have to capture CO2 when it’s burnt. In natural gas, you don’t have to wait until it’s burnt, but capture it earlier. Our CCS is not the one Mr. Starace is talking about.
This is not about developing a new technology and funding many elements. The technology is there, we are looking at making the whole system possible. That’s where we need EU’s support.

When can your CCS project, whose study is a PCI, be executed on a large scale?
In Norway, the government funds a project extracting CO2 from three industrial processes: fertilizer production, cement production and waste burning. The CO2 will be collected and transported to Norway’s west coast. Statoil will be responsible for the study on building the CCS plant and injecting the CO2 in one of our North Sea reservoirs. We have Shell and Total as partners. That project should be ready by 2023. By then we will have a harbour, where a ship can deposit CO2. The infrastructure will be in place and you will have to pay a price to deposit CO2 reflecting some of the capital costs, but avoiding the build-up of the whole value chain alone. That’s where the PCI comes in. The industries in Teesside and Eemshaven will also be able deposit their CO2 in the Norwegian seabed.

Isn’t it dangerous to store CO2 in the seabed or underground? We still haven’t found a proper solution to store underground other dangerous substances like spent nuclear fuel.
The oil and gas we extract from the North Sea has been there millions of years. We are pumping it out, because we found the way out. We are now using our 25-year competence to store CO2 under the seabed to monitor what happens to it. We can use the known reservoirs for depositing CO2. For us it is feasible, and we also have the support of Norway. Of course, we will have to do this is in a safe and secure way.

On the European market, Statoil is in a tough competition with Gazprom, which is constantly increasing its gas imports. Do you think CCS will help you compete with the Russians?
Our company’s vision is to be part of a low-carbon economy. We are not looking at our competitors. We have partners with us – Shell and Total – and it is important that industry sees the potential. It is not about keeping somebody else out.

It would be natural in a market economy.
Of course, the market will rule. But natural gas of any origin can be turned into hydrogen.

Do you work on the CCS and hydrogen projects with the Russians?
No. We are mainly working with European companies.

The Norwegian sovereign wealth fund has proposed to divest from the oil and gas sector. The Norwegian government is a majority shareholder of Statoil. Doesn’t this proposal undermine your future?
The fund has shares only outside Norway as far as I know, it has not invested in Statoil. Norway as a country owns 67 percent of Statoil. It has already invested in oil and gas, but also renewables that we develop. The fund wants to reduce the risk by diversifying to other sectors. You should ask the fund why they are doing it.

You don’t think this is a negative signal for your business?
Our business will have to prove that it is part of the future. We want to be at the forefront of the energy transformation. By 2030, there is a potential for 15 to 20 percent of our capital investment to go into the low-carbon side of our business including CCS and renewables.

Is the Commission’s proposal for the new electricity market design capping the emissions of capacity mechanisms an issue for Statoil?
We are very positive about the carbon price. It allows to make long-term choices. The 550g of CO2/kWh limit is a good idea.

Statoil has made a lot of progress on offshore floating wind turbines. Last October, you launched the commercial operation of a wind park near the Scottish coast. What is the economics of this renewable energy?
Bottom-fixed offshore wind price has dropped quite fast. The reason is technology – larger turbines catching more wind –, industrialization – larger portfolio driving the supply chain cost down –, volume scale, auctions, many small things.
The floating technology is based on our oil-and-gas experience. Although bottom-fixed wind has become a big solution for Europe, not every country has the necessary low seabed conditions. The threshold is 50 metres. Scotland has deeper waters. The floating wind turbines can go to the depth of up to 700 metres. Thanks to them, you can cover a much bigger part of the ocean and bring its energy onshore. Most of the largest electricity consumers are coastal countries. The cost developments from the bottom-fixed wind are also happening in the floating wind. There are 18 GW of bottom-fixed, but only 30 MW of floating turbines, which is our project.

What is the cost in Scotland?
We received more subsidies than you would normally see. But from the prototype turbine in Norway launched in 2009 to the wind park in Scotland we have reduced costs by 60 – 70 percent. Another project of 100 MW would allow us to make further cost reductions by 40 – 50 percent. Subsidies will go down. But floating wind will create a bigger market. It can be used outside France, on all Norway’s shores, on the U.S. West Coast, in Japan. The floating turbine is 250 metres high, twice the onshore turbine. But its capacity is threefold – 6 MW.

How much is the investment for one turbine in Scotland as compared to onshore?
It’s more expensive, but the costs of offshore and onshore are coming closer. The benefit of onshore is easy accessibility and maintenance. Offshore is a complex project including marine logistics. Hence, it is more expensive. But you can go bigger and bigger, because there are no limitations of blades transported on roads, wind turbines being close to somebody, there is a potential of growth. We believe that by 2030 the cost of floating wind per MWh can go down to 40 – 60 euros. In the very long term, floating wind will be cheaper than bottom-fixed.