About the project
Forest-derived methane may contribute significantly to a vehicle fleet independent of fossil fuels by 2030. There is sufficient technical knowledge about energy conversion methods and several Swedish actors have investigated and prepared investments in production facilities, but the technology is not commercially mature yet and it needs support during a development period. The combination of varying investment possibilities due to market changes, and the unpredictable development of policy instruments supporting production and use of renewable energy, is a major reason to why potential investments are postponed.
The use of upgraded biogas in the transport sector has increased continuously since its introduction in 1996. Upgraded biogas is complemented by natural gas to meet the vehicle gas demand. A voluntary agreement among the distributors maintains a minimum biogas share that corresponds to 50 %. The biogas share is much higher today (74 % by volume, average January-August 2015) and some large end-users use pure upgraded biogas.
Studies of the practical production potential show that the current vehicle gas demand could be met entirely with upgraded biogas. However, an increased demand will eventually require other production pathways based on other feedstocks. Gasification of forest biomass is one such pathway.
This project has conducted a literature study and an interview study with three industry actors to answer the question “How can forest derived methane complement biogas from anaerobic digestion in the Swedish transport sector?” For example, results from the study point out that
- In order to attract investments in forest-derived methane, the vehicle gas market must continue to increase. To invest in a large-scale facility implies too large a risk given the size of the current demand and the uncertainties of the future market.
- If methane should be able to play an increasingly important role in a future transportation sector, the gasification technology needs policy support during a development period.
- The predictability of policy support is perceived as low. The predictability is more important than the specific type of policy instrument to attract investments.
ResultsHow can forest-derived methane complement biogas from anaerobic digestion in the Swedish transport sector?
Stefan Grönkvist, KTH
Tomas Lönnqvist and Thomas Sandberg, KTH
November 2014 - June 2015
Total project cost
250 000 SEK
The f3 partners and KTH