The latest edition of the EBA Conference took place in Ghent, Belgium this week bringing together more than 200 delegates.
The programme, with contributions by a record number of 47 speakers , 19 exhibitors and 33
poster presenters , was attended by stakeholders coming from 29 different countries. 56 participants joined the last day of the conference for a study tour to the nearby facilities of Ivaco (Gistel) and Digrom (Ardooie).
Participants learnt from EBA President Dr Jan Stambasky about the more sustainable future of gas and the readiness of the sector to embrace a key role in it, especially that of biomethane, with a current market growth of 30% in Europe. This was echoed by Mrs Marie Donnelly, Director of Renewables, Research & Innovation, Energy Efficiency for the European Commission DG of Energy, who stated that “We [Europe] have the potential to double the production of biogas by 2020”. Mr David Parkin, Director of Network Strategy & Gas Distribution for the UK National Grid, shared a similar message when remarking that “Bio methane and biosyngas can provide half of the heat needed in the UK in 2050.”
Biogas and biomethane production are the cheapest ways to store CO2 in the soil.
EBA’s longstanding support for farmers as biogas producers and their importance within the circular economy was highlighted with the words of EBA Board Member Mr Stefano Bozzetto, “I do not see a future with out a biogas plant in each farm to make farming more sustainable and competitive.” His statement was supported by MEP Mr Giovanni La Via who remarked that “Biogas and biomethane production are the cheapest ways to store CO 2 in the soil”. Mr Jyrki Katainen, Vice – President of the European Commission, went forward and called for the development of cohesive policies stating that “We need your help to develop the best regulations” to enable the creation of better business opportunities and business models for biogas producers to become a more prominent energy source.
The conference will see its next edition in January 2018, looking to build up on the success of previous editions in terms of participation, high – level contributions and key messages concerning the biogas sector and its great projection. As Dr. Stambasky remarked in his closing comments, “Nobody could have imagined five years ago the great pledge for greening gas we have today!”