European Biogas Association reports 17,376 biogas plants in EU

By Katie Fletcher | January 23, 2017

The European Biogas Association published the sixth edition of its statistical report with compiled data collected over the past six months on the European anaerobic digestion industry and markets. Like previous reports, this edition reflects the steady growth of the biogas sector, with the number of biogas plants tripling in only six consecutive years. The latest data from late 2015 shows that there are 17,376 biogas plants and 459 biomethane plants in operation in Europe.

The number of biogas plants in Europe increased 3 percent, or by 542 plants, in 2015. Significant increases were achieved in some countries, such as the U.K. adding 77 plants, representing 17 percent growth; Belgium growing 11 percent, or by 20 plants; and the Netherlands adding 16 plants, a growth rate of 6 percent.

According to national associations and third-party observers, biogas production was quantified by the total amount of electricity produced from biogas, which was 60.6 terawatt hours in 2015. EBA corresponded this power generation to the annual consumption of 13.9 million European households.

In the biomethane sector, 2015 saw steady growth with 92 new biogas upgrading units commissioned, an increase of 25 percent from the prior year. Germany remains a leader in this sector, as well as the biogas sector, with 185 biomethane plants and 10,846 biogas plants. Significant growth was observed in a few countries, such as the U.K. with 43 new plants, France with 12, Switzerland with 11, Germany with 7, and Denmark with 6. According to EBA, “these numbers reflect a clear development in Europe, showing that the biogas industry is a mature one, capable of withstanding less profitable times while able to successfully seek for opportunities in the meantime. It can be then expected that these positive trends will continue in the short future.”

EBA’s statistical reports are sourced from national associations, national statistical reports and EBA experts’ own research. The full statistical report includes chapters on the biogas market (plants, production, feedstock), biomethane market (plants, production, feedstock), supporting industry programs, the jobs and turnover in Europe, and a European policy outlook. The report is freely available for members at the EBA on its website, and other interested parties can purchase the document by contacting the EBA Secretariat.