December 16, 2020, Kyiv – The GTS Operator of Ukraine and the public union Bioenergy Association of Ukraine signed a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation. The Parties will explore the technical possibilities of biomethane transportation by the Ukrainian gas transmission system and work to create legal opportunities for this. In addition, the plans include the implementation of pilot business projects.
Also today, the first working meeting was held with the participation of both signatories and the Ministry of Energy of Ukraine. The participants discussed the strategic vision for the development of production and use of biomethane in Ukraine.
For Ukraine, work in this direction is especially important given the potential role of renewable gases in the balance of the energy system within the transition to a carbon-free economy. The direction of transportation of renewable gases is also promising for the GTS Operator of Ukraine, taking into account the free capacity of the main gas pipelines and the Development Strategy of the GTS with a focus on decarbonization. Biomethane occupies a special place in the strategy, which almost does not differ from natural gas and is carbon neutral. The growth of its production in Ukraine means an increase in the workload of the GTS and the possibility of providing additional services, for example, storing gas in the GTS (linepack) for generating electricity in the balancing market. Such a scenario would strengthen Ukraine’s energy independence and turn it into a clean energy exporter and an important trading partner for the EU.
«The GTS Operator of Ukraine is moving in the fairway with the European GTS operators in the development of the biomethane sector and decarbonization of the energy through renewable gases. The promotion of decarbonization is an integral part of the Company’s Development Strategy. In keeping with that objective today we are signing a Memorandum and are starting systematic work with the Bioenergy Association of Ukraine. Together we will conduct joint research to implement optimal solutions for the development of the internal market for biomethane technologies in Ukraine and its transportation to the EU countries. This is a promising direction. I will note that large European energy Companies are already contacting us regarding the possibilities of exporting biomethane to Western Europe», – commented Sergiy Makogon, CEO of OGTSU.
«We are sincerely grateful to the Ukrainian GTS Operator for uniting efforts to develop the biomethane sector in Ukraine – biogas, which is natural gas brought to the quality. In the world, this direction is successfully developing: in 2019, the global production of biomethane exceeded 5 billion cubic meters per year with an average annual growth rate of 13%. We estimate the potential for biomethane production in Ukraine at 7.8 billion cubic meters per year, which is about 25% of natural gas consumption», – noted Georgiy Geletukha, the Chairman of the Board of the Bioenergy Association of Ukraine.
The Company and the Union will organize consultations and exchange of information, promote the development of effective interaction with Ukrainian government authorities, research institutions, higher educational institutions, business, as well as international organizations and companies, associations, institutions and organizations of individual states and international associations.
Thus, the signatories begin cooperation for the development of clean technologies, modernization of the energy sector of Ukraine and its further integration with the European one. Cooperation is aimed at decarbonizing energy, unlocking the potential of renewable gases, increasing energy efficiency, balanced development of international and regional markets, trade and cooperation in the field of bioenergy.
Biomethane is a biogas that does not differ in its physicochemical parameters from natural gas, where the methane content reaches more than 90% and is formed either by enrichment of biogas or by gasification of solid biomass. Biomethane can be transported and used in the same way as natural gas. Biomethane has the advantages of natural gas, while remaining carbon neutral.
Biogas is a gas derived from biomass. Possible sources of biogas: animal farm waste, waste water or organic matter in landfills. Biogas is a mixture of methane (60-70%), CO2 and small amounts of other gases.
Today, the EU pays significant attention to increasing the production, transportation, trade and consumption of biomethane. The corresponding strategy is laid down in the European Green Deal for 2050, presented by the European Commission at the end of 2019. According to the European Biogas Association (EBA) and Gas infrastructure Europe (GIE), there are 728 biomethane plants in operation in the EU, 232 of them are in Germany, 131 are in France, 80 are in Great Britain and 70 are in Sweden.
This year, Gas4Climate, the consortium of operators of GTS in Europe, in the study “Ways to decarbonize the gas industry 2020-2050”, has set an achievable goal by 2030 to build 500 new biomethane plants in the EU with connection to gas transportation and gas distribution infrastructure. Together they should produce 5 billion cubic meters of natural gas equivalent
Note that France has increased biomethane production 20 times over the past 5 years. Today, the country produces 2.5 TWh per year, and decade later, the country’s government planned to reach 14-22 TWh per year. For this, France will carry out the adaptation of French gas networks and strategic planning of most promising connection points.