The Swedish government’s new budget takes an important step to promote biogas (biomethane), a renewable natural gas, by carrying forward a bonus arrangement through to 2018. The policy target is independence from fossil fuels by 2030 and fossil free from 2050.
Among other measures, the bonus for gas passenger cars is increased from SEK 7500 to 10.000 (USD 920 to 1228). Maria Malmkvist, CEO of Energigas Sverige (the Swedish Gas Association), says the news of an increased bonus has been well received and must be viewed as a bonus for the climate. She says it needs to be easy to choose a real environmental car.
The budget also supports the reduction of methane from manure. Energigas explains that the budget for plants producing manure biogas will be increased by another 30 million (USD 3.75 million) by 2020. “But it would have been better if the support had also been extended to more raw materials where biogas production is needed to end the cycle and promote a circular economy,” Malmkvist adds.
The budget contains news that the government wants to “investigate the market conditions for Swedish biogas and propose long-term instruments”. An analysis should also be made of the “best use of biogas resource utilization and how it can be afforded competitive conditions in both the short and long term”. Energigas Sverige welcomes this news. Swedish biogas producers have been hampered by the import of biomethane from countries with production support. In Sweden the use of gas is supported but not the production. To this end, the government has indicated it will set up a circular economy delegation, a move for which the Swedish association will become a “constructive partner”.
“Today’s distorted competitive relationship, with imports of subsidized biogas, needs to be corrected. Without increasing production and use of biogas in Sweden, the overall climate and environmental goals can not be achieved,” says Malmkvist.
During the first half of 2017, vehicle gas had a biomethane share of more than 80 percent, up from 73 percent in 2016.
Source: Energigas Sverige