Repost of Orkidea’s article: The potential of biogas for the Energy Transition, and how Value4Farm could boost biomethane production in Iceland.

Part of a biogas plant in the Netherlands. Photo: Orkidea.

Orkídea is participating in the Value4Farm project, that is funded by the European Union´s Research and Innovation Programme – Horizon. The project was launched in September 2023 and the first deliverables have been published on the website. Value4Farm is an innovation projects or what the EU calls an Innovation Action (IA) with an emphasis on the implementation of solutions rather than research, although certainly innovation projects often are an opportunity to carry out  research. To give an example, one aspect of Value4Farm is to research and evaluate whether biogas and biomethane production is feasible in Iceland and, if so, whether stakeholders are interested in producing biogas and biomethane. The preliminary and soon to be published results from the first phase of theValue4Farm project show that this interest is present in Iceland, but high financing costs, lack of grants, concessions and incentives and lack of general experience and knowledge about biogas / biomethane production are barriers to possible projects. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), biogas and biomethane production can satisfy about twenty percent of global demand for gas. This has clear environmental implications. In many of our neighbouring countries, biogas and biomethane production has become an integral part of agricultural systems and agriculture enjoys various subsidies and incentives in this respect. Expert and industry reports are clear on the benefits of biogas and biomethane production offering valuable insights on the state of the art of the industry and future scenarios. In many cases, biogas and biomethane production is clearly a fundamental component in the national energy mix. Technologies are also advancing, for example, in terms of better knowledge of the composition of waste for the production of biogas, the optimisation of bacterial flora and hence the fermentability of biomass and, last but not least, increased automation and the digital / SMART transformation of biogas and biomethane plants. Value4Farm will make significant contributions to this rapidly evolving field.

The size and scale of agriculture in Iceland does not compare to agriculture in most of our neighbouring countries, but with the growth in aquaculture, horticulture and possibly forestry, those industries generate waste material that can be used to produce biogas and biomethane. Hence, the production of biogas could and should be part of Iceland’s energy transition plans . As the Value4Farm project progresses, we will continue to learn from subject matter experts who are at the forefront of biogas industry development in Europe.  

International Energy Agency: The outlook for biogas and biomethane to 2040

Biogas production: Insights and experiences from the Danish Biogas Sector

Report: Production and use of biogas in Denmark 2022-2035