New analysis method increases clarity about the future of biogas

The project has explored the consequences at a system level of an increasing number of regional public transport companies choosing electrification over already developed biogas systems. To date, this has been studied to a limited extent.

By studying the current discourse in the media, in academic literature and among social actors, the project approached the issue in a new way.

The discourse analysis has been used to describe a possible transition path and to create a quantitative and dynamic model of the current biogas fleet in Stockholm’s inner city. Subsequently, the environmental and socio-economic consequences of the electrification were assessed.

The results show that the discourse was generally correct. The electrification of the city’s transports led to reduced direct environmental impacts of greenhouse gases, particulate matter and nitrogen oxide, and resulted in significant socio-economic savings thanks to reduced exposure to these emissions. However, the effect of reduced noise was not as substantial as highlighted in the discourse.

The modelling also includes a scenario where the displaced biogas finds new markets, for example to replace fossil fuels in heavy-duty vehicles and ships.

The discourse emphasizes that the shift is necessary to avoid undermining the transition to a bio-based and circular economy, and to avoid societal losses in the form of unusable biogas infrastructure and reduced capacity to dispose of biological waste.

The report also shows possible incentives and barriers to changing the application of biogas. These conclusions have been developed by industry players and stakeholders to influence and facilitate the viability of biogas in different markets and can be found in a policy brief with eight recommendations to decision-makers.

A recording from a webinar presenting the project (in English) is available here:

Facts

Manager
Michael Martin, IVL

Contact
michael.martin@ivl.se

Participants
Sara Andersson, Anders Hjort and Åsa Romson, IVL // Philip Peck, Lund University

Time plan
September 2019 - March 2021 (extended)

Total project cost
1 809 942 SEK

Funding
Swedish Energy Agency, the f3 partners, IVL, Biogas Öst AB, Energigas Sverige Service, Gasum AB, Innovatum AB, KTH, Linköping University, Power Circle AB, Ragn-Sells AB, Scania AB, Storstockholms lokaltrafik and Vattenfall AB.

Swedish Energy Agency's project number within the collaborative research program
48367-1

The project group also includes representatives from industry, the user side, researchers and decision makers.