Finnish biogas statistics 2015

25.11.2016 11:41

Finnish biogas statistics covering year 2015 were released in June 2016 by the University of Eastern Finland. News release was published on the vehicle utilization in June. Here a summary is given on the whole biogas sector.

In Finland, biogas has been produced since 1902 in demonstration plants and since 1910 in commercial plants. Biogas has been utilized for residential heating, industrial process heating, cooling, illumination and mechanical power production since 1932. Electricity production at CHP plants began in 1936. Since 1941 biogas has been utilized as vehicle fuel.

Finnish national biogas statistics have been annually published, as proposed by the Finnish Biogas Association, by University of Eastern Finland as the so called Biogas Plant Registries.The latest was released in June 2016. It covers vehicle utilization since 1941, when it began, until 2015. Other biogas sectors are covered from 1994 until 2015. As these publications are written in Finnish, there is a need to give a short summary in English.


In 2015, 153 million Nm³ (about 0.8 TWh) of biogas was produced at 84 plants. Of these, 44 were reactor biogas plants (46 % of production) and 40 were landfill gas plants (54 % of production). Table 1 shows main components of the national biogas infrastructure.


Table 1. Biogas infrastructure.

  Amount in 2015 Change from 2014
Biogas plants total 84 -2
- Reactor plants 44 -2
- Landfill gas plants 40 0
Biogas upgrading plants 10 (9)* +1
Public biogas filling stations total 24 0
- CBG100 stations 24 0
- LBG100 stations 0 0

*Ten different upgrading plants were in operation during 2015, but nine were in operation at the end of 2015.


Table 2 shows how biogas was used. Thermal energy utilization was 460 GWh. All electricity production, 147 GWh, originated from CHP plants. Vehicles consumed 23 GWh that was delivered by 24 public CBG100 stations (100 % Compressed BioGas) and private stations. Final end-use of biogas totaled 630 GWh. This includes 98 GWh of upgraded biogas originating from 10 commercial upgrading plants. Of upgraded biogas, 23 % was consumed as vehicle fuel and the rest for thermal energy applications. It was not used for electricity production. Amount of unused biogas combusted by flares at production sites was 91 GWh.


Table 2. End-use of biogas.

End-use Amount in 2015 Share in 2015 Change from 2014
Heating 460 GWh 73 % + 5 %
Electricity 147 GWh 23 % - 7 %
Traffic 23 GWh 4 % + 35 %
TOTAL 630 GWh    


Vehicle utilization has grown annually for more than a decade. Within the last decade it grew by 1200-fold. Both heating and electricity production at biogas plants decreased in 2015. But thermal energy production by upgraded biogas more than tripled, which resulted in increase of total heating use.




About the Finnish national biogas statistics:

Collection, analysis and publication of Finnish biogas statistics and state of the Finnish biogas industry was an initiative of the Finnish Biogas Association in 1994. This information, including statistics since 1994, has been published in a series of Biogas Plant Registries, which now contain 19 volumes. The first three volumes included 3 years each, and the rest of the volumes include 1 year each. All of the volumes, which now cover years 1994-2015, are available at the Biogas Plant Registry archive of the Finnish Biogas Association. They have been written in Finnish, with an English abstract. In addition to statistics, which is based on surveys sent annually to biogas plant operators, they include analysis of statistics and trends of the biogas industry. In 2011 the Finnish Biogas Association initiated collection and analysis of traffic biogas statistics, which require dedicated surveys. They have been included in the Registries since 2011, when data for the year 2010 was published. The traffic biogas section covers the whole history of biogas utilization in transportation, which began in 1941. Since 2010 the Registries have been published by the University of Eastern Finland (before it by the University of Joensuu). Surveys, analysis and publication of the Registries are a result of co-operation between University of Eastern Finland, Finnish Environment Institute and the Finnish biogas industry. These publications deliver biogas statistics for the official Finnish energy statistics collected and published by Statistics Finland.