Image courtesy of Joe de Souza

Image courtesy of Joe de Souza

A number of laws were put into place on November 21, 2011, which were then modified in June 2014. Some of these include fifteen-year contracts, prices and administrative approval defined by substrate & size and biomethane production declared on a monthly basis. National biomethane registries have been created in 2011. Fourteen existing upgrading plants (December 2015) are now injecting into the local natural gas grid (+3 into the transmission grid). Overall injects 260 GWh/year.

There still remain significant challenges. One of these is to establish a bond between the public, politicians, waste companies, and the gas grid operator (GrDF / GrT Gaz). In addition, there have been some delays, particularly with regard to financing, the electrical industry lobby, and CNG / CBG automobiles made in France.

Some ways we intend to address these issues are to foster more coordination between administrations, to review French fuel taxes and environmental impact, to develop a training program, and to lobby to make biomethane the priority in the grid.

One goal is to have 1,400 biomethane plants by 2030 (versus 400 biogas plants end of 2015), producing 30 TWh / year biomethane (10% national consumption). Another is to increase production to improve the market, for example, building 10 more biomethane plants in 2015 and 25 more in 2016.

In short, we need to make the “voice” of biomethane heard, and demonstrate this system’s environmental sustainability.