RES-T methane market in Finland 2017

RES-T methane market in Finland 2017

By Ari Lampinen, CBG100 Suomi, August 2018

 

Finnish national RES-T methane statistics for the year 2017 were released in August 2018 by the University of Eastern Finland (Lampinen 2018a) as a part of annual Finnish biogas statistics publication (Huttunen, Kuittinen & Lampinen 2018). This is the 8th national annual statistical report of vehicle utilization of renewable methane.  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.

In 2017 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.

Utilization of biogas as a vehicle fuel increased by 41 % compared to previous year. 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 in transportation, i.e. conversion losses during production and distribution are excluded. Traffic use means actual vehicle refueling amounts. Data was requested and received from 14 operators of public stations, 7 operators of fast-filling private stations and 1 operator of private slow-filling stations. Data was not collected from small slow-filling stations, i.e. home filling stations, because their share of refueling remains negligible and actual refueling data collection is inherently difficult from them.

Chart 1. Traffic use of biogas in Finland in 1941–2017. Source: Lampinen (2018a, 25).

 

Trend driving role of city buses continued.  Drop of consumption in 2016 is a notable feature in Chart 1. It was caused by large decrease of biogas utilization in Helsinki city buses. This phenomenon continued in 2017, but was no longer able to produce negative growth nationally. The main contributor to the strong growth in 2017 was introduction of biogas as city bus fuel in City of Vaasa. But at the end of 2017 municipal decision was made to end biogas utilization and move to natural gas in all CMG buses operating in Helsinki metropolitan area, i.e. to make a transition from local municipal toilet waste based renewable methane to imported fossil methane from Russia. This will be visible in the forthcoming statistics of the year 2018. Biogas originating from local municipal sewage was utilized in city buses in Helsinki since December 2012 until Decempber 2017. Municipal toilet waste based upgraded biogas production will continue in Helsinki metropolitan area by municipal waste company, but its main application shifted from municipal public transportation to heating. Due to the remarkable trend driving role of city buses a special background report on biogas bus developments in Finland was included in the statistical report (Lampinen 2018b).

Annual consumption of renewable methane as vehicle fuel was 109 TJ (Table 1). Absolute growth in 2017 was 32 TJ, which is the highest in history (Chart 1). All traffic biogas was consumed by road vehicles and mobile working engines. It was no longer consumed only as CBG100 (100 % Compressed BioGas) as had been since 1941 until 2016, because first public and private blend stations (CBG40) were introduced in the Finnish market in 2017. Traffic biogas production capacity increased by 23 % as a result of bringing six new upgrading plants online. But heating continued to dominate consumption of upgraded biogas. Several new technologies were presented in the Finnish market during 2017. They include first two public CBG daughter stations, first large private slow-filling station (at bus depot) and first upgrading plant based on amine scrubbing.

 

Table 1. Statistics of RES-T methane utilization in Finland in 2017 and change compared to previous year.

Traffic biogas statistics

2017

Change (2016)

Biogas consumption as vehicle fuel

109 TJ

+ 41 %

RES-T methane consumption

109 TJ

+ 41 %

Share of reactor biogas

100 %

-

Share of upgraded biogas

100 %

-

Share of domestic production

100 %

-

Share of road transport

100 %

-

Public CBG stations

34

+ 10

Large private CBG stations

2

+ 1

LBG stations

0

-

CBG mother stations

4

+ 3

Traffic biogas production plants

17

+ 6

Traffic biogas production capacity

31 MW

+ 23 %

Share of transportation of domestic biogas consumption

4.2 %

+ 26 %

 

Ten new public biogas filling stations were opened and none were closed in 2017 (Table 2). This brought the total number of public CBG stations to 34, of which 33 were pure biogas (CBG100) stations and 1 was a blend station (CBG40), indicating a 42 % expansion of the CBG station network. The amount of commercial operators of public renewable methane filling stations doubled in 2017 from 7 to 14, which is the highest number to date. On the other hand, the amount of commercial operators of public fossil methane stations halved in 2017 from 2 to 1. The highest number of such operators was 4 in 2013.

 

Table 2. Status at the end of 2017 and development during 2017 of the public biogas station network in Finland.

Development indicator

2017

Change (2016)

Public CBG stations

34

+10

Public CBG100 stations

33

+9

Public LBG stations

0

-

Share of CBG stations of public CMG stations

92 %

-

Public CBG station operators

14

+7

Regions with public CBG100 stations

6/8

+3

Provinces with public CBG100 stations

12/19

+4

Urban areas with public CBG stations

19/37

+6

Provinces meeting 150 km target

9/19

+3

Provinces with stations in all urban areas

5/19

+2

Public CBG stations in urban areas

27

+8

Population of urban areas with CBG stations

2,6 M

+28 %

- Its share of national population

47 %

+28 %

TOP10 largest cities with CBG stations

8

+4

TOP20 largest cities with CBG stations

13

+6

Municipalities outside of urban areas with public CBG stations

4/244

+1

CBG stations outside of urban areas

7

+2

Highways with CBG stations

26/34

+6

Other main roads with CBG stations

12/43

+5

CBG stations along highways

29

+8

Highways meeting the 150 km requirement

12/34

+1

 

Regional development was the most remarkable feature of the market growth during 2017. New public filling stations were located in 3 regions, where CBG stations had been absent, doubling the number of regions with CBG station infrastructure from 3 to 6. Now 6 of the 8 regions have at least 1 public CBG station within their territories. Market growth is also visible in provincial scale, as 4 new provinces were added to the total of 12 provinces that had at least one public CBG station by the end of 2017. Map on the left shows provincial status at the end of 2017. Provinces having public CBG stations within their territories are indicated by green colour (12 provinces). Dark green means that distance to the nearest public CBG station is less than 150 km anywhere within these 9 provinces (islands excluded). The only province with public fossil methane stations, but without public renewable methane stations is indicated by red colour. Black colour is used to show the remaining 6 provinces that do not have any kind of public methane stations within their territories. Up-to-date map of the public CBG stations, including stations opened after 2017, is available here.

Road coverage improved both nationally and internationally. During 2017 6 highways and 5 other main roads were added to the total number of 26 highways and 12 other main roads, where at least one public CBG station is found. This improved both regional and national road coverage. But the most significant addition was CBG station in Oulu in Northern Finland: it halved the distance to the nearest Swedish CBG station to 260 km, which is within biogas operation range of all factory made CMG vehicles. Therefore, gasoline is no longer needed for travelling by land between Finland and Sweden. International visitors coming by road to Finland from Western Europe can now do so without compulsory utilization of crude oil based fuels.


 

References:

Huttunen MJ, Kuittinen V & Lampinen A (2018) Finnish national biogas statistics – Data year 2017. (In Finnish; with English abstract, titles, bibliographic information and figure, chart and table captions.) Publications of the University of Eastern Finland, Reports and Studies in Forestry and Natural Sciences No 33, School of Forest Sciences, Faculty of Science and Forestry, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, 50 p.

Lampinen A (2018a) Traffic biogas in Finland in 2017. (In Finnish; with English figure, chart and table captions.) In: Huttunen MJ, Kuittinen V & Lampinen A: Finnish national biogas statistics – Data year 2017. Publications of the University of Eastern Finland, Reports and Studies in Forestry and Natural Sciences No 33, School of Forest Sciences, Faculty of Science and Forestry, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, 22-37.

Lampinen A (2018b) Development of the Finnish biogas bus fleet – Special report. (In Finnish; with English figure and table captions.) In: Huttunen MJ, Kuittinen V & Lampinen A: Finnish national biogas statistics – Data year 2017. Publications of the University of Eastern Finland, Reports and Studies in Forestry and Natural Sciences No 33, School of Forest Sciences, Faculty of Science and Forestry, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, 38-47.

 

 

About the Finnish national biogas statistics:

Collection, analysis and publication of the Finnish national biogas statistics and the state of the Finnish biogas industry were initiated 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, Statistics Finland, Natural Resources Institute Finland and the Finnish biogas industry. Collected statistics with analysis has been published as a series of Biogas Plant Registers, which now contain 21 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 English abstract. Starting from register 20 published in 2017, table, chart and figure captions and table 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 and the official EU energy statistics published by Eurostat.