The World Biogas Summit and Expo 2023 brought with it a wealth of industry knowledge, innovation, and inspiring new ideas to help #MakeBiogasHappen. Established by the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA), the expo is the largest annual tradeshow dedicated exclusively to anaerobic digestion, connecting international industry experts, policy-makers, and government officials from over 70 countries.
Joined by Amy Wong, Head of EMEA Energy Research, Credit Suisse, Charlotte Morton (OBE), Chief Executive of the World Biogas Association (WBA) delved into a fascinating conversation around big oil and biogas and the prospective trajectories over coming years. Referring to the recent acquisitions, Charlotte opened with the comment “big investments happening and what it means for the biogas industry”.
As we witness big oil making strategic moves into the biogas sector, there is considerable investment in the onboarding of biogas companies from the likes of BP, Shell, and TotalEnergies. With a vast increase in biogas production from waste products and 10 to 15 million new green jobs with an estimated $34 trillion industry opportunity ahead, the potential for growth and new hope looks great across the biogas industry. In an increasingly decarbonised portfolio, big oil giants are helping to elevate the AD revolution and adding their engineering expertise and increasing profitability in the sector.
With big oil in Europe delivering approximately 30% of the CAPEX into low-carbon energy, there’s great hope for the road ahead - as Amy noted, “we all know the energy transition is here”. Whilst there is continued debate around prospective timeframes and targets for Scope 3 emissions and nuanced conversations still to be had, big oil is making unprecedented investments into the biogas space.
Chaired by David Newman (European Bioeconomy Bureau), the Mobilising AD discussion brought together industry leaders for an insightful and inspiring panel. Maureen Walsh (Director of Federal Policy, American Biogas Council), Kunal Shah (Chief Growth Officer & Managing Director, Asia, Anaergia), Dr Gerard J Osthimer (Global Lead for Sustainable Bioenergy, BioFuture Campaign), and Nikil Moghe (Partner, KPMG) dug into the urgency of biogas mobilisation and the most efficient routes to net zero transition.
As food security looks set to become a much more serious issue in the coming years, increased commitment is needed. As Kunal explores, the threats of climate change will only be fully challenged when “governments treat getting to net zero as a Covid-19-like emergency and set up conditions for entrepreneurial companies to implement solutions at scale”.
The panel went on to impress the power individual efforts have; the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) works on the basis of country-led campaigns and initiatives, which enables the exchange of knowledge and insights into clean energy, whilst building networks and partnerships. With countries across Europe moving towards greater waste collection efforts over the next year and the recent introduction of CEM’s Biofuture Initiative to accelerate production and the use of bio-based fuels, chemicals, and materials, there is hope for a holistic and considered move towards greater AD and biogas mobilisation.
Hennadiy Zhuk, Professor and Director of Gas Institute NAS of Ukraine, offered some inspiring thoughts on the huge potential of organic residues and the exploitation of their buoyant agricultural system. Ukraine in particular has made huge steps towards the use of organic residues as a major power source, with 31 landfill biogas plants and 22 anaerobic digestion plants. The use of AD and biogas as a majority power source is a possibility; Ukraine has proven this well before time.
However, with underdeveloped infrastructure efforts for biogas, increased foundational support is needed to maximise the potential of organic residue power use, including greater investments, new technological advancement and AD equipment.
Michael Ware highlighted the considerable impact of European consumption on global carbon emissions, and the urgent need to see an increase in production and investment in biogas globally. A number of 1000 new plants across the European Union and £25 billion in investment was presented as a quantified requirement for required movement in this space; perhaps more viable than previously thought, however, as we see the potential for more significant returns for investors versus wind or solar.
From fresh innovation to finding new solutions to ongoing challenges, to exploring exciting new funding possibilities and creative individual approaches from around the globe, the World Biogas Summit 2023 truly delivered for those seeking inspiration and advancement in the industry. The power of networking and collaboration is undeniable in its ability to generate change. Reach out to our team to explore what it could do for you.
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