A perspective on the state of the biogas industry from selected member countries of IEA Bioenergy Task 37

Mar 2022

This publication contains a compilation of country report summaries from the following member countries of IEA Bioenergy Task 37 (Energy from Biogas): Australia, Austria, Brazil, China, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Each country report summary includes information on the number of biogas plants in operation, biogas production data, how the biogas is utilised, the number of biogas upgrading plants, the number of vehicles using biomethane as fuel, the number of biomethane filling stations, details of financial support schemes in each country and some information on national biogas projects and production facilities.

Full report available here: https://www.ieabioenergy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/IEA_T37_CountryReportSummary_2021.pdf


General conclusions:

  • China has the highest number of biogas plants among the IEA Bioenergy Task 37 member countries, with more than 100,000 biogas plants, followed by Germany with over 10,000 plants. In addition to the 100,000 biogas plants, China also has a large number of household biogas units.
  • In countries like Australia and the UK, landfills are the largest source for biogas production, while they are only a minor contributor in countries like Germany and Switzerland, indicating the low level of landfilling of organic waste material.
  • In most of the Task 37 member countries, biogas is mainly used for heat and electricity generation. Sweden stands out, with more than half of the produced biogas being used as vehicle fuel. Germany is second in absolute numbers in terms of biogas as a transport fuel.
  • Germany and Sweden have had the largest markets for biomethane in recent years, but a growing interest is seen in other countries as well. UK has now taken over the second position from Sweden, using more and more biomethane for heat and electricity production, but also as vehicle fuel.
  • Financial support systems are very different from country to country. Various systems with feed-in tariffs, investment grants and tax exemptions exist. A clear correlation between the financial support system and the way biogas is utilised is evident in the Task 37 member countries. In countries like the UK, Germany and Austria, feed-in tariffs for electricity have led to most of the biogas being used to produce electricity, while the system with tax exemption in Sweden favours utilisation of the biogas (biomethane) as a vehicle fuel. In several countries, financial support systems have led to an increased share of biogas in the gas grids.
  • Lastly, there are many exciting innovative biogas projects going on, including dry digestion, CO₂ utilisation and cross-sectoral synergies.

Chicken manure biogas plant in Dafeng City, Jiangsu Province