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2013 May 31

WBA launches new fact sheet 'Biogas – An important renewable energy source'

The full version of the WBA's fifth fact sheet 'Biogas - an important renewable energy source' is now available for download here.

“Biogas” is a gas produced by anaerobic fermentation of different forms of organic matter and is composed mainly of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2). Typical feedstocks for biogas production are manure and sewage, residues of crop production (i.e., straw), the organic fraction of the waste from households and industry, as well as energy crops including maize and grass silage.
Biogas is supplied to a variety of uses or markets, including electricity, heat and transportation fuels. In many countries using the gas for direct combustion in household stoves and gas lamps is increasingly common, producing electricity from biogas is still relatively rare in most developing countries. In industrialized countries, power generation is the main purpose of most biogas plants; conversion of biogas to electricity has become a standard technology. To improve overall efficiency of biogas utilization, combined heat and power plants are often used, with part of the heat utilized for main-‐ taining reactor temperature and sometimes for heat treatment of the incoming material.
A biogas plant on a farm, for example, has a number of different elements, such as the liquid manure store, the receiving and mixing area, the digester or reactor, the gas storage tank and storage for digester residue. In the case of a combined heat and power (CHP) application, there also needs to be grid connection for the electricity and a connection to the heat user. The cost of investment per kW installed electric capacity is about 5 000 Euro for an installation of about 150 kW in size; the specific investment cost/kW or MW capacity is higher for smaller plants and lower for bigger plants.
The global potential of biogas is large enough to provide a substantial share of future gas demand; estimations show that biogas could cover around 6% of the global primary energy supply, or one quarter of the present consumption of natural gas (fossil methane gas).
Each country should develop and implement an integrated biogas concept in order to promote the increased production of biogas. The big advantages of such a strategy would include better progress in mitigating climate change by reducing national GHG emissions, improving national energy security, and creating new employment in rural regions. International organizations should support these national efforts.

To download the fact sheet 'Biogas - An important renewable energy source' click here.

For more information, please contact:
- Heinz Kopetz, President WBA email:, tfn +436506806988
- Karin Haara, Executive Director WBA email:, tfn +46705432641
- Andrew Potter, Communications Director, WBA, tfn +442077136028