Austria’s path to energy independence – the potential of biogas

In a world where energy independence is becoming increasingly urgent, Austria faces the challenge of making its energy sources more sustainable and environmentally friendly. One promising solution that is coming more and more into focus, is the replacement of foreign natural gas with domestic biogas. But how realistic is this objective and what measure are needed to achieve it? What is the potential of biogas here?

Biogas – the sustainable alternative

Biogas is a renewable energy source derived from organic waste and residues. Unlike fossil natural gas, which contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, biogas is environmentally friendly and helps reduce to reduce CO2 emissions. It can be used to produce electricity, as a fuel for vehicles and as a heat source for households and industry. It can also be upgraded to biomethane and fed directly into the gas grid or liquefied as LNG for transport.

Potential of biogas in Austria

According to a study by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology, around 20 % of foreign natural gas imports in Austria (about 21 terawatt TWh biomethane) could be replaced by domestic biogas by 2040. This potential clearly shows that biogas can play an important role in reducing the dependence on foreign natural gas.

The Renewable Gas Act (EGG) as a first step

Achieving this ambitious target, however, requires a clear and sustainable strategy. The Renewable Gas Act (EGG) in Austria is a first step in the right direction. It aims to promote investment in biogas projects and to create legal certainty for producers and consumers of green gas.

The need for rapid implementation

Given the climate emergency and global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the introduction and implementation of the EGG is crucial. This ensures that our gas grid also experiences an energy transition and that the target of climate neutrality by 2040 is achieved, according to the Kompost & Biogas Verband Austria.

Austria’s biogas industry

The Kompost & Biogas Verband further states that the urgency of the law is also evident in the biogas sector in Austria. The willingness to convert existing biogas power plants to gas injection is currently low due to a lack of planning and investment security. This is despite the fact that biogas from organic waste and residues is one of the most readily available alternatives.

Our biogas plant in Wildon is currently an electricity generation plant but will be converted to gas supply in the future. To truly guarantee security of supply and promote energy independence, we need laws like the EGG.

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