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Biomethane in the Baltics - Memorandum of Understanding signed

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

On 14 September 2021, the gas Transmission System Operators (TSOs) of Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania -Gasgrid Finland Oy, Elering AS, JSC Conexus Baltic Grid and AB Amber Grid - have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on promoting the development of green gases in the region.

Green gas predominantly refers to biomethane but can include other forms of renewable natural gas including synthetic methane, green hydrogen (an emerging renewable gas carrier) as well as biogas (an unrefined mix of biomethane and carbon dioxide).

In conjunction with the National Energy Climate Plans (NECPs) and the European Green Deal, the TSOs identified areas for cooperation, including research and development, when crafting the MoU.

Other areas considered in the MoU include regulations, harmonised standards (including Guarantees of Origin systems) and infrastructure.

The full press release can be found here (Elering).

Greenfact Comments

Note, although strictly not a Baltic state, Finland is a party to this MoU. And while a MoU does not constitute a legally binding document, the news should send strong signals to biomethane players in the area.

Total biogas production in the MoU countries was close to 2 TWh in 2019, most of the biogas being used for electricity production. Biomethane production was under 200 GWh.

The numbers had decreased in recent times, particularly in Estonia and Latvia due to a decrease in the amount of state support for production, resulting in some plant closures. The MoU will highlight some of these worrying trends and focus future discussions on growing the industry.

Cooperation between the states as far as GOs and associated registers will likely be made easier with the European harmonising efforts of organisations such as the AIB (Association of Issuing Bodies) and ERGaR (European Renewable Gas Registry). ERGaR has already hosted roadmap talks for biomethane in Lithuania and Latvia this year.

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Baltic Times