The paradox of an unstoppable force against an immovable object. We are going through a rather unusual year, unfortunately. Nonetheless, renewable gases are consolidating their position throughout Europe amongst the energies of the future, and are of key importance to the environmental and energy sustainability of our society. Biomethane is now a reality, with hundreds of new references emerging each year, and hydrogen is beginning to take off as one of the leading players of the future. Moreover, in the words of the Commissioner of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, the future lies in rebuilding the economy on the basis of a Green Agenda.
Influenced by this technological reality in Europe and the foreseeable influx of funds associated with “green reconstruction”, several renewable gas projects are being undertaken in Spain. Practically all agro-industrial biogas plants, landfills, large WWTPs and waste treatment plants are developing renewable gas projects. These projects are driven by service companies, consultancy companies, companies specialising in biogas and the owners of natural gas distribution networks. All types of initiatives are taking place: injection into the network, virtual gas pipelines, vehicular gas, etc.
Never before has our sector witnessed the coordination of efforts and harmony of interests that can be seen today amongst the different stakeholders who wish renewable gas to play an important role in Spain. The impression is of an irresistible force.
But current legislation is more akin to an unmoveable object. Draft versions of subsidies have been published but are not currently in operation. The main projects in Spain (with the exception of Valdemingómez) are pilot plants. There is no defined Guarantee of Origin system. The situation regarding the renewable energy directive (Red II) has not been clarified. And, unlike almost all of our European partners, there is still no incentives scheme for biomethane injection. Most of the current developments are based on future assumptions rather than the current situation.