PROSPECTS OF BIOMETHANE PRODUCTION IN UKRAINE
Biogas upgrading to quality of natural gas (NG) creates possibility to supply biomethane to the NG grid, easy transportation and production of electricity and heat in locations where there is guaranteed consumption of thermal energy. Biomethane as a close NG analogue can be used for heat and electricity production, as soon as motor fuel and raw material for chemical industry.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that the world's annual biomethane production potential is 730 bcm (20% of current world's NG consumption). World biomethane production reached almost 5 bcm/yr in 2019. According to forecast of the European Biogas Association the biogas and biomethane sector may almost double its production by 2030. According to IEA estimates, annual world biomethane production could reach 200 bcm in 2040 in case the sustainable development strategy is implemented
Currently, the Bioenergy Association of Ukraine estimates the potential for biogas/biomethane production in Ukraine using fermentation technology as 7,8 bcm/yr (25% of the country's current NG consumption). The roadmap of bioenergy development in Ukraine until 2050 envisages growth of biomethane production to 1,7 bcm in 2035 and up to 3 bcm in 2050.
Currently the prospects for green hydrogen development are well known. The authors support the need of hydrogen technologies as one of the way for production and use of renewable gases. However, they believe that biomethane has no less prospects.
Transporting of one cubic meter of biomethane through gas pipeline at 60 bar pressure transmits almost four times more energy than transporting of one cubic meter of hydrogen. This is fundamental advantage of biomethane. Another advantage is the full readiness of gas infrastructure for biomethane. Given the cost of gas infrastructure modernization to use hydrogen, it is more cost-effective to convert green hydrogen to synthetic methane.
Currently, biomethane is in average three times cheaper than green hydrogen, the cost of the two renewable gases is expected to equalize by 2050, and only further possible reduction in the cost of green hydrogen below $2/kg will make green hydrogen cheaper than biomethane. Therefore, the greatest prospects can be seen in the combination of the advantages of both renewable gases and conversion of green hydrogen into synthetic methane (power-to-gas process).
Authors believe that after adoption of legislation to support the development of biomethane production and use in Ukraine, the bulk of biomethane produced in the country will be exported to EU, where more favourable conditions for biomethane consumption are developed. As Ukraine's economy grows, more and more of the biomethane produced will be used for domestic consumption.
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5. Geletukha G.G., Zheliezna T.A., Matveev Yu.B., Kucheruk P.P., Kramar V.G. [Roadmap for bioenergy development in Ukraine until 2050], UaBio Position Paper N26, November 2020, 54p. (in Ukr). https://uabio.org/materials/9115/
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7. [Draft Law on Amendments to the Law of Ukraine "On Alternative Fuels" on the Development of Biomethane Production] (in Ukr). (http://w1.c1.rada.gov.ua/pls/zweb2/webproc4_1?pf3511=71839).
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