National statistics of production and consumption of biogas for transportation applications in Finland during 2015 have been released by the University of Eastern Finland (Lampinen 2016). Utilization of biogas (biomethane – RNG) as a vehicle fuel grew by 35 % compared to the previous year. Within the last decade transportation consumption of renewable natural gas has grown 1200-fold.
Final energy consumption of biogas in transportation was 23 GWh in 2015. As has happened since biogas utilization commenced in Finland in1941, all biogas consumed in vehicles was produced from biowastes. Energy crops have never been used for this purpose. Therefore, all traffic biogas is eligible for double counting under the RES Directive (2009/28/EC). If all would be certified (this situation has not yet been achieved) the calculated amount would be 46 GWh for the purposes of the national obligations under the RES Directive and for the respective Eurostat statistics.
In 2015, like always, biogas was consumed in vehicles only as CBG100, i.e. 100 % Compressed BioGas, supplied through a network of public filling stations (operated by 7 companies) and many different kind of private stations. CBG100 was the cheapest energy source available for vehicles at public stations.
18 public stations sell CNG and CBG100, offering the customer the choice of either 100 % biogas or 100 % natural gas.; i.e. blends of gas are not available. One public filling station sells CNG only, operated by Lempaalan Lampo, but a specific contract and fuel card is needed there. All other CNG stations are operated by Gasum.
Considerable progress has in the last few years taken place in relation to public stations dedicated to selling CBG100 only, increasing from one in 2013 to six by end 2015.
Altogether there are 25 public filling stations operated by a total of 8 operators – see map at http://www.cbg100.net/in-english/map-of-filling-stations/. Report author Ari Lampinen informed NGV Global News that several new public filling stations will be opened later this year and new types of stations will enter the Finnish market. The filling station map will be kept up-to-date. Lampinen says that for various reasons an official NGV count is not available hence non-inclusion in the report, but unofficially, based on the number of customers, a coarse estimate would be 2000 methane powered vehicles.
Biogas had 35 % share of methane consumption in transportation and 70 % share of methane consumption in road transportation. This difference is caused by lack of biogas utilization in water transportation.
Traffic biogas was produced at 10 biogas upgrading plants (by 8 companies), of which 9 were in operation at the end of the year. One plant was taken off-line for product development and to be relocated later. Upgrading capacity grew by 18 % and was 3220 Nm3/h at the end of 2015.
More information is available at www.cbg100.net/products/res-t-methane-market-2015/.
(Sources: CBG100, Ari Lampinen)