Biomethane, a natural gas energy

Gas is an energy of the future. With energy becoming a crucial issue for future generations, natural gas is a major asset to the energy mix. 

Available for a long time to come, more competitive than other energies, energy-efficient and a low-emitter of greenhouse gas, natural gas is now being combined with renewable energies as a perfect complement for heating our customers’ homes. 

Natural gas energy is also a force for innovation with new, highly efficient equipment such as absorption heat pumps, eco-generators and tomorrow’s fuel cells, for producing electricity and heat. The development of biomethane and green gases is another of the many benefits. These will gradually round off the energy mix and turn the natural gas network green.

Biomethane : waste has a future

By reducing greenhouse gases, improving waste management, preserving soil quality and water tables, and creating jobs, biomethane plays a key role in the development of the local circular economy where waste is converted into renewable resources.
Produced from waste from the agri-food industry and the restaurant and catering sectors, and from household and agricultural waste, biomethane is a refined biogas with properties identical to natural gas.

Methanization, how does it work ?

Waste is sorted, prepared and placed in a methanizer, where it is mixed and heated. During this fermentation process, bacteria convert the waste into biogas. Once odorized (compulsory in France) and inspected by GRDF, the biogas is then called biomethane, which can now be injected into the distribution network.

Uses of biomethane include heating, cooking, hot water production and fuel, etc., uses that are identical to those of natural gas energy, except that they are 100% renewable. Local authorities, manufacturers and farmers are therefore embarking on these projects to produce and inject biomethane as an alternative energy solution.

Biomethane, benefits for the community

Introducing a methanization project offers many local benefits :

  • Recycling waste
  • Creation of local jobs that cannot be relocated
  • Local production of renewable energy
  • Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions
  • Use of organic rather than chemical fertilizers
  • Taking full advantage of the local authority’s gas infrastructures

What is the outlook ?

Numerous regional authorities, manufacturers and farmers are now embarking on biomethane production and injection projects for alternative energy solutions.

According to ADEME (French Environment and Energy Management Agency), by 2030 there will be between 500 and 1,400 sites that inject biomethane in the network, with biomethane gas energy accounting for 16% of gas in the network.

By 2050, 73% of the gas circulating in the distribution grid could be green gas, according to GRDF’s best-case scenario (56% for ADEME).

For more information, please read the renewable gas french panorama 2016