Other than new drills, Italy can get fivefold gas from biomethane

0 10

“It represents the future in many ways, as well as an opportunity to promote decarbonization and increase national energy security.”

During the Biomethane Forum in progress at Ecomondo, Cib (Consorzio italiano biogas) and Cic (Consorzio Italiano composters) updated estimates on how much renewable gas Italy could derive from anaerobic digestion of agricultural waste and separate organic waste collection (MSW).

According to Cic estimates, 130 million cubic meters of biomethane and biogas obtained from Forsu are already being fed into the network; plants are also being built that will bring the figure up to 300 million cubic meters by 2025, up to reaching the threshold of 1 billion cubic meters as maximum potential by 2030.

Among realizations and ammodern novo and above all modernization, more than 50 plants for the production of compost and biomethane from organic fraction coming from separate collections are ready to become operational.

“In a moment of energy crisis like the current one – underlines Massimo Centemero, director of the Cic – it is more than ever necessary to find alternatives, but even more important to enhance the sources we already have and the plants in operation or just waiting to be converted. Biomethane represents the future in many respects, as well as an opportunity to promote decarbonization and increase national energy security”.

To the data related to the FSU are added those of biomethane in agriculture. According to Cib, the agricultural biogas sector, with more than 1700 biogas plants on the national territory today represents about 88% of the total, with an installed power of 1014 m.

Thanks to the implementation of the Pnrr measures dedicated to the sector, it is estimated by 2026 a production of over 4 billion mc of agricultural biomethane, equal to about 30% of the total natural gas supplies that is imported from Russia. But looking at 2030, the potential identified by Cib is even broader: we are talking about about 6.5 billion mc for agricultural biomethane alone.

“The publication of the Biomethane Decree in the Official Gazette is a first step for the start of new investments in the primary sector. This is a much awaited measure and that can lead the agricultural biogas and biomethane sector to offer its contribution to face the energy crisis, aggravated also due to the conflict in Ukraine – argues Piero Gattoni, president of the Cib – Now it is necessary to move as soon as possible to the implementation phase of the decree, with the adoption of application procedures for the first auctions”.

Italy, already the second country in Europe for biogas production and among the leading in the world, with an adequate legislative system to support it could therefore reach, in total, a production of about 8 billion cubic meters of biomethane by 2030; an estimate lower than those elaborated for example by Legambiente, which indicated 10 billion cubic meters as potential (between agricultural waste and MSW) by 2030, but still of great importance.

Suffice it to note that with the decree unblock drills, announced by the Meloni Government in the process of conversion into law of the dl Aid ter, the Minister of the Environment Fratin speaks of the possibility of extracting “an amount of 15 billion cubic meters exploitable over 10 years”. From biomethane it could be obtained 8 billion cubic meters per year, or five times what is expected from new drilling, and also from existing concessions (thanks to which 3-5 billion cubic meters of fossil methane are extracted per year).

But the difference is not only on the available energy, but also on very different impacts from the climate point of view: burning fossil methane accelerates the climate crisis, while biomethane represents a renewable and CO2 neutral fuel, as it comes from the natural degradation of organic waste: in this way, the amount of carbon dioxide released in the entire process – from the retrieval of organic waste to their combustion – is balanced by that assimilated by living organisms during their growth.

Yet, too many nimb sindr and Nimto syndromes, fueled by misleading information on the subject, block the construction of anaerobic digestion plants in the territory: a dean of Italian environmentalism like Francesco Ferrante has come (so far) to count 183 such cases along the Boot.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.