RES-T methane market in Finland 2016

RES-T methane market in Finland 2016

By Ari Lampinen, CBG100 Suomi, July 2017


In 2016 reactor biogas was the only form of renewable methane utilized in transportation (RES-T methane) in Finland. Landfill gas has not yet been introduced for this application, although it is consumed in electricity and heat production plants. Other forms of RES methane have never been produced in Finland.

Finnish national traffic biogas statistics for the year 2016 was released in July 2017 by the University of Eastern Finland (Lampinen 2017) as a part of annual Finnish biogas statistics publication (Huttunen & Kuittinen 2017). As the publication was written in Finnish, content of the traffic biogas section is summarized here in English by the author of the original publication.



Utilization of biogas as a vehicle fuel fell by 6 % compared to previous year. This is the first time vehicle consumption of biogas has fallen since traffic biogas was re-introduced in the Finnish market in 2002. Chart 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.

Chart 1. Traffic use of biogas in Finland in 1941–2016. Source: Lampinen (2017, 14).


Table 1 gives basic data of the RES-T methane sector in 2016 with comparisons to previous year. All traffic biogas was consumed by road vehicles and mobile working engines. It was consumed only as CBG100 (100 % Compressed BioGas) as always since 1941, i.e. blends of biogas and fossil methane had not yet been introduced in the Finnish market (note: this situation changed in May 2017).

Table 1. Statistics of RES-T methane utilization in Finland in 2016. Source: Lampinen (2017, 13).

RES-T methane statistics in Finland

in 2016

Change from 2015

Biogas consumption as transportation fuel

21.4 GWh

– 6 %

RES-T methane consumption

21.4 GWh

– 6 %

Share of road transport

100 %


CBG100 share of consumption

100 %


Amount of CBG100 station operators



Amount of public CBG100 station operators



Amount of public CBG100 stations



Share of wastes in traffic biogas production

100 %


Amount of traffic biogas production plants


+ 1 (2)*

Annual traffic biogas production capacity

200 GWh

+ 33 %

Share of transportation of biogas consumption

3 %

– 6 %

*In 2016 two new upgrading plants were taken into operation, but one upgrading plant taken out of operation during 2015 was included in the total count for year 2015.


Annual traffic biogas production capacity increased by a third as a result of taking two new upgrading plants into operation. In 1941-2015 all biogas consumed in vehicles was produced from waste resources. In 2016 energy crop based traffic biogas was introduced in the market, but its share was less than 0.5 %. Of the 11 upgrading plants in operation all produced fuel for filling stations. Some of them were dedicated to traffic biogas production and some also produced upgraded biogas for heating applications. But upgraded biogas was not used for electricity production. Annual traffic biogas production capacity is already almost 10 times larger than vehicle consumption. It indicates that the share of heating applications has become dominant.

There were 88 purified reactor biogas and landfill gas production plants in operation in 2016, including 4 new plants. Of these, 10 was directly connected to one or two upgrading plants. In a few of them all purified biogas was upgraded, but in most of them purified biogas was also utilized directly and/or via biogas pipeline for electricity and/or heat production. Large majority of purified biogas production plants, 78 in total (89 %), did not supply upgrading plants. Purified biogas covered well over 80 % of all biogas consumption, and upgraded biogas had a share of well below 20 %. Purified biogas has not after 2008 been utilized as a vehicle fuel, but only for electricity and heat production. Raw biogas is not utilized in any end-use applications.

Of the 11 biogas upgrading plants, six supplied filling stations via biogas pipeline: those filling stations offered physical CBG100. Four upgrading plants supplied filling stations via the national gas grid and one upgrading plant via a municipal gas grid. Those were also CBG100 stations, but did not offer physical biogas, since biogas had been mixed with natural gas during transportation.


Public biogas filling station network remained unchanged at 24 CBG100 stations. This was the second year in a row without public filling station network growth. Some changes took place in the private biogas filling station network.

This growth stall of over two years was highly surprizing when considering the large amount of plans and new EU legislation at the end of 2014. But it finally ended in January 2017. During the first half of 2017, four new public biogas stations were opened. Up-to-date situation is available in the  Map of biogas filling stations and upgrading plants in Finland . This map was created for the Biogas Plant Register in 2014 and its end-of-year versions are published in the annual publications. However, it is continuously maintained in English as a service to domestic and visiting traffic biogas consumers. Since 2014 it also has acted as a partial implementation of Article 7.7 of the Directive 2014/94/EU on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure. The article requires that locations of public filling stations of alternative fuels are made publicly available to all users, both domestic and foreign. This map maintains information of public renewable methane stations in Finland.


References (in Finnish):
  • Lampinen A (2017) Biokaasun liikennekäyttö Suomessa vuonna 2016. In: Huttunen MJ & Kuittinen V (ed.) Suomen biokaasulaitosrekisteri n:o 20 – Tiedot vuodelta 2016. Publications of the University of Eastern Finland, Reports and Studies in Forestry and Natural Sciences No 29, School of Forest Sciences, Faculty of Science and Forestry, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, 12-17.
  • Huttunen MJ & Kuittinen V (2017) Suomen biokaasulaitosrekisteri n:o 20 – Tiedot vuodelta 2016. Publications of the University of Eastern Finland, Reports and Studies in Forestry and Natural Sciences No 29, School of Forest Sciences, Faculty of Science and Forestry, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, 44 s.



About the Finnish national biogas statistics:

Collection, analysis and publication of the Finnish national biogas statistics and the state of the Finnish biogas industry was an initiative of the Finnish Biogas Association in 1994. It was conducted until 2009 by the University of Joensuu. Since 2010 the University of Eastern Finland has been in charge of these studies, enabled by co-operation with the Finnish Environment Institute and the Finnish biogas industry. Collected statistics with analysis has been published in a series of Biogas Plant Registers, which now contain 20 volumes. The first three volumes included 3 years each, and the rest of the volumes have included 1 year each. All volumes maintain historical data series since 1994. They have been written in Finnish, with an English abstract. Starting from register 20 tables and figure texts have been provided in English. Transportation sector was not originally part of this work, but it has been included since 2010. The traffic biogas section covers in each volume the whole history of biogas utilization in transportation, which began in 1941. These publications deliver biogas statistics for the official Finnish energy statistics published by Statistics Finland.