Supporting mechanisms for the development of biomethane in transport

The French gas distribution company GRDF commissioned a study to gain insight into the supporting measures in force in other European countries to support biomethane use in the transport sector. The study focused on national policy measures in seven European countries: Austria, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The most promising policies were identified and their transferability to the French context was assessed.

The focus of the study was on the tail end of the supply chain, i.e. vehicle uptake, fuel uptake and filling infrastructure developments. Biogas production and upgrading of biogas to biomethane were also taken on board, however, these being essential first steps in the supply chain. The final report of the study is accompanied by an extensive factsheet containing all the details on the selected countries. The study was carried out by CE Delft and eclareon.

Among the policy recommendations provided to GRDF are:

  1. Trends in natural gas (NG) and bioNG use in the transport sector in Sweden and Italy should be closely monitored, as the policies and underlying strategy of these two countries seem to fit the French context best. It should be borne in mind, though, that these policies are part of a broader long-term strategy geared to specific national circumstances: bioNG in transport in Sweden and NG in transport in Italy.
  2. Biomethane should be further integrated into the French strategy to decarbonise the transport sector and a level playing field created between biofuels and biomethane. One way to achieved the latter aim would be to include biomethane in the blending obligation when the current French system is reformed.