Biomethane and hydrogen can save the gas transportation system of Ukraine after the commissioning of Nord Stream 2, the country's State Energy Efficiency Agency said.
“So far, the gas transmission system is used only by 20%. The construction of Nord Stream 2 poses additional threats. After all, the lack of the necessary pressure in the network can deprive some consumers of the availability of gas. Biomethane and hydrogen can partially solve these issues, ”said Deputy Chairman of the State Energy Efficiency Yuriy Shafarenko speaking at the Ukrainian Gas Open forum.
Biomethane is purified biogas, which in terms of its physical and technical characteristics meets the standards for natural gas. That is, biomethane can already be used by the current gas transportation system of Ukraine. It is technically possible to connect biomethane plants to networks in almost all regions.
“The potential for biomethane production in Ukraine is 8 billion cubic meters per year. For comparison, this is about half of the annual gas imports and 25% of its total consumption per year, "Shafarenko explained.
Biomethane is a versatile fuel that can be used to generate electricity and heat, replace gas as fuel for cars, and also for export to the EU.
“In 2020, Ukraine paid $ 7.5 billion for the import of energy resources: oil, coal, natural gas. These are funds invested in other countries. They could stay in Ukraine and contribute to the development of capacities using those local types of fuel that could replace gas, preserve the gas transportation system and the country's economic situation. After all, each hryvnia invested in its own economy is returned by 3 hryvnia. These are jobs, replenishment of budgets, development of the economy, ”said the representative of the State Energy Efficiency Agency.
Biomethane production is actively developing in the EU, in particular, already in 17 countries. By the end of 2019, there were over 700 biomethane plants in Europe.
At the same time, there is no biomethane production in Ukraine. Installed 53 biogas plants, which produce 224 million cubic meters of biogas. They could potentially generate 135 million cubic meters of biomethane per year.
Therefore, the State Energy Efficiency, together with the Ministry of Energy and the Bioenergy Association of Ukraine, has developed a bill on the development of production and consumption of biomethane. This initiative was supported by the people's deputies. The relevant draft Law No. 5464 of 05/05/2021 was registered in the parliament (author - A. Zhupanin - People's Deputy of Ukraine, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Gas, Gas Transportation Industry and Gas Supply Policy of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Fuel and Energy Complex and Housing and Communal Services).
The goal is to create a legal framework for the development of the biomethane market in Ukraine, to establish the export of biomethane to the EU countries and to replace natural gas with biomethane in the production of electricity and heat.
Another promising area, the development of which will allow Ukraine to become a less energy dependent and worthy energy partner of the EU, is hydrogen. The potential for hydrogen production from renewable energy sources reaches 5.5 billion cubic meters per year by 2035. Now the Strategy for the development of hydrogen energy in Ukraine until 2050 is being developed.
“I am sure that the development of the sphere of biomethane and hydrogen will contribute to the economic development and energy independence of our country,” summed up Yuri Shafarenko.