How biogas can support intermittent renewable electricity

Apr 2021

IEA has recently highlighted different projects in their initiative “Today in the Lab – Tomorrow in Energy?” One of the projects is about Integration of biogas in the energy system, with involvement of IEA Bioenergy Task 37 (Biogas) and Task 44 (Flexible bioenergy).

This project aims to explore strategies and technical aspects to use the flexibility of biogas facilities to facilitate the integration of intermittent renewable electricity in a decarbonised energy system. Renewable electricity provided by solar or wind power varies during the day as the weather changes so it needs to be balanced with complementary energy systems that are dispatchable – available when needed – at any time of the day or year. Biogas systems can be operated in flexible mode to match electricity demand; the dispatchable renewable heat produced at the same time can also be used to meet seasonal heat demand. Biogas may be integrated with “power to gas” systems that use hydrogen from electrolysis to upgrade biogas to biomethane, acting as a biological battery when there is an oversupply of intermittent electricity. This flexibility provided by biogas systems can improve energy utilisation in the grid while reducing losses.

These solutions will:

  • improve the flexibility of biogas systems, which provide a renewable energy source for different energy sectors
  • provide efficient options to balance solar and wind power using biogas
  • help to replace natural gas with renewable gases in grids.

Full project sheet available at: