The era of biomethane: decarbonization by 2050
The production of biomethane in the agricultural sector alone could cover 12% of the current consumption of gas in Italy with clear environmental and economic advantages.
Biomethane (a biofuel that is obtained both from biomass waste of agricultural origin and from the organic fraction of municipal solid waste deriving from separate collection) “can play a fundamental role in the energy strategy” to reduce air pollution and fight climate change.
Biomethane is a fundamental link for the correct treatment of biodegradable waste in the context of the new circular economy scenario at the national level, starting from the central and southern regions of Europe.
The gas in Italy
In Italy, gas plays an important role with a 34.6% contribution to gross domestic consumption: 70.914 million cubic meters distributed mainly between the residential sector (with 40.7% of consumption), industrial (20.4%) and that of transport (1.5%). Yet the production of biomethane in the agricultural sector alone could cover 12% of current consumption of gas in Italy with obvious environmental and economic advantages.
Biomethane: energy strategy, reduction of atmospheric pollution and the fight against climate change. The assertion of the Italian Thermotechnical Committee
The biomethane, according to the Italian Thermotechnical Committee, is able to prevent the emission of greenhouse gases by at least 75% compared to those of fossil fuels, a fundamental contribution to the goal of containing global warming within 1.5 degrees Celsius as recently advocated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Besides the production of green energy, the whole process also allows to have as a final result a soil improver useful to restore fertility to soils impoverished by intensive agriculture. Without forgetting that the biomethane “done well” is a great economic opportunity for the territories, also in relation to the creation of new jobs.
The importance of the approval of the decree for the promotion of the use of biomethane
Legambiente not only tells the state of the art in Italy, but also tends to highlight the most concrete opportunities for companies and territories, especially since 2018 was the year of approval of the long-awaited decree for the promotion of the use of biomethane in the transport sector. A measure that, thanks to the final approval of the European directives on the circular economy, of the obligation to separate the workforce at European level, accelerates the transition towards a more sustainable consumption model.
As asserted by Alessandro Canovai, president of the Cic: “The decree opens up new and important scenarios, starting with the 4.7 billion euros put into the budget by the state until 2022 for new plants for the production of biomethane and biocarbons from waste. An incentive aimed at supporting higher costs in the production of biofuels, thus making them competitive with those of fossil fuels in the transport sector”.
The statements by Giorgio Zampetti, general manager of Legambiente
“Biomethane not only lends itself to becoming a more and more strategic energy source in the transport sector and domestic consumption, but we believe It will play a fundamental role in the energy transition, offering important opportunities for boosting businesses, especially agricultural, beyond that a fundamental tool for the fight against climate change and waste management – declares Giorgio Zampetti, general manager of Legambiente – In particular, we can’t wait any longer on this last point. It’s necessary to start with the construction of new anaerobic digestion plants for production of biomethane for the treatment of the organic fraction, starting from the regions of central and southern Italy that are currently lacking, despite the fact that It represents 30-40% of the total waste produced, and also composting plants with this technology existing aerobics, to optimize the process. This is why it is necessary from immediately identify needs and create synergies to favor the development of an integrated system and above all “done well”, supporting the commitment of institutions and businesses and involving citizens on the strategic, environmental and economic advantages and ensuring their participation with tools that integrate the normal authorization process, providing correct and transparent information “.
Biogas Consortium, zero emissions in 2050 with renewable gas
Gattoni, with more biomethane in Italy +21 thousand employed in 2030
“Biomethane is a choice of responsibility to curb climate change”. This was stated by Piero Gattoni, president of the Italian biogas consortium (Cib).
“Reaching the goal of a zero-emission economy by 2050 is possible – observes Gattoni – exploiting the huge resource of renewable gas. It’s possible to produce over 120 billion cubic meters of renewable gas in the EU annually by 2050, 25% of the current European demand for natural gas, with a saving of 138 billion euros a year compared to an energy scenario without renewable gas “.
“In Italy – he continues – the sector is particularly developed, especially at the level of biogas and agricultural biomethane, but in order to be able to affect emissions and reduce emissions, it’s urgent to eliminate the regulatory obstacles to the development of plant reconversion, which would also a saving on the costs of the bill “. Moreover, “biomethane is an advanced biofuel able to support electric mobility both in terms of transition and to reduce emissions” for example in public, industrial and naval transport. “In our case, the environmental challenge is also a great opportunity to create value and employment – concludes Gattoni citing a research by Althesys – a growth of the biomethane sector in Italy would create more than 21 thousand jobs by 2030″, with ” a tax revenue of 16 billion euros “, and” total economic effects for almost 86 billion “.
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