A comprehensive new report on biogas plants published by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. concludes that the world’s desire to reduce dependency on fossil fuels, heightened attention to eco-friendliness, and government incentive programmes will continue to step up investment in biogas facilities, which are forecast to $8.98 billion by the year 2017.
“Narrowing cost differentials between fossil fuels based electricity generation and biogas energy in recent years has further augmented interest in renewable resources,” says Global Industry Analysts. “Today, biogas competes on par with petroleum-based fuels in terms of performance, cost, and other additional benefits such as reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.”
In terms of both consumption and production of biogas, Europe – especially Germany, followed by the UK, Italy and Spain – is ahead of other regions mainly due to increased government regulation for environment friendly initiatives. Although Europe dominates biogas production, the trend is also catching up fast in countries like Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the US. The Asia-Pacific biogas plants market is displaying strong appetite for growth, thanks to the continuous infrastructure development and business expansion in the region, especially in the emerging markets such as China and India.
Global Industry Analysts reports that the recent worldwide economic recession has not had much impact on the global biogas plants market. “The growing clamour over cleaner and environmental friendly energy technologies is offering new market opportunities for alternative energy solutions such as biogas,” the market intelligence provider says.
Nonetheless, Global Industry Analysts warns that biogas plant market is not immune from the business cycle, with recent turmoil in the global credit markets, and substantial reductions in asset value across business enterprises and households resulting in reduced energy requirements and difficulties in obtaining finance for biogas. This coupled with poorly performing foreign markets and high substrate prices that reached its peak in September 2008, scuttled all previously set biogas targets. At the same time, the cost of natural gas delivered to electric power plants declined in 2009 to nearly half the 2008 level and that coupled with significant expansions of pipelines capacity had cast downward pressure on biogas prices.
Thankfully though, government stimulus packages proved to be “the silver lining” from the downturn in the global economy, with various government policies providing subsidies, incentives and investments to biopower companies to shield the biogas plants market from the devastating effect of the crisis.
“While the continued difficult economic scenario is a factor to consider, the industry trends bear out an optimistic assessment, as fundamental market drivers for renewable technologies continue to remain strong,” says the report’s authors. “Innovations will continue in processes and feedstocks, while companies, government, and academic institutions pour in funds and expertise to support research and development in the field of renewables.”
Biogas has distinct advantages in comparison to other renewable energies, which provides a very strong reason to be sanguine about the future of biogas sector. The increasing application of renewable fuels in transport sector across the world also supports the growth of biogas industry. Renewable fuels, such as biodiesel and bioethanol, demonstrate limitations in terms of reduction in greenhouse gases, and resource efficiency. Biogas, prepared from byproducts of biodiesel and ethanol, and from the anaerobic digestion of energy crops and organic residues, holds an advantageous position in terms of resource efficiency and environmental perspective. Biogas can also be purified and subsequently upgraded to quality as exhibited by natural gas for its injection into the natural gas grids.
Major players in the global biogas marketplace include: 2G Bio-Energietechnik AG, BIOGAS NORD AG, BKN Biostorm AG, BTA International GmbH, EnviTec Biogas AG, GHD Inc, HAASE Energietechnik AG, Organic Waste Systems NV, RCM Digesters Inc, Schmack Biogas AG, STRABAG Umweltanlagen GmbH, and UTS Biogastechnik GmbH.