By Ari Lampinen, CBG100 Suomi, June 2016
In 2015 biogas (BG) was the only form of renewable methane utilized in transportation (RES-T methane) in Finland and all of it was reactor biogas. Landfill gas has not yet been used for this purpose, although it is consumed in electricity and heat production plants. Other forms of RES methane have never been produced in Finland. There are plans for beginning production of synthetic biogas (SBG) and wind methane, but investment decisions have not been made.
National statistics of production and consumption of biogas for transportation applications in Finland during 2015 was released in June (news 9.6.2016) by the University of Eastern Finland (Lampinen 2016) as a part of annual Finnish biogas statistics publication (Huttunen & Kuittinen 2016). As the publication was written in Finnish, content of the traffic biogas section is reviewed here in English by the author of the original publication. Not all of the contents of the original publication are covered here. But some additional data, which was collected during the research, is given here, although it was not included in the original publication.
The main findings of the study are:
- All biogas consumed in vehicles was produced from biowastes, as always during the whole history of traffic biogas utilization in Finland (since 1941).
- Utilization of biogas as a vehicle fuel grew by 35 % compared to previous year.
- Biogas was consumed in vehicles only as CBG100.
- CBG100 was the cheapest vehicle fuel available at public stations.
- Biogas upgrading capacity grew by 18 %.
Final energy consumption of biogas in transportation was 23 GWh in 2015. All biogas consumed in vehicles was produced from biowastes, as always during the whole history of traffic biogas utilization in Finland (since 1941). Energy crops have never been used for this purpose. Therefore, all traffic biogas is eligible for double counting under the RES Directive (2009/28/EC). If all would be certified (this situation has not yet been achieved) the calculated amount would be 46 GWh for the purposes of the national obligations under the RES Directive and for the respective Eurostat statistics.
Utilization of biogas as a vehicle fuel grew by 35 % compared to previous year. Within the last decade transportation consumption of biogas has grown 1200-fold. Graph in Figure 1 shows development of traffic biogas utilization since 1941, when it first began in Finland. Vertical axis label "Liikenteen loppuenergia" means end-use energy consumption for transportation, i.e. conversion losses during production and distribution are excluded.
Figure 1. Consumption of biogas as vehicle fuel in Finland during whole history of utilization of this technology in 1941-2015. Source: Lampinen (2016, 13).
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. 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. 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.