Ecological Transition grants 76.5 million in aid for biogas installation projects

Jul 16, 2023 | Current affairs, Featured, Revista Lloseta, Thursday Daily Bulletin, Tradition

They benefit 81 proposals for the generation and use of biogas for thermal, electrical, cogeneration and biomethane use. In addition to contributing to decarbonisation objectives, biogas promotes the use of organic waste with a circular economy approach and helps develop the rural world.

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Ecological Transition

The Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge has definitively resolved the first call for applications for grants for projects for unique biogas facilities, available here. The 81 proposals with the best evaluation will receive incentives worth 76.5 million euros from the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, financed with EU Next Generation funds, corresponding to a projected investment of 475.5 million euros and a total power to be installed of 188.3 MW.

The aid programme, managed by the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving, part of the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, has selected initiatives for biogas production and its use, either for thermal or electrical use, in high-efficiency cogeneration or for purification to obtain biomethane for energy use. Most of the projects benefiting from these non-refundable subsidies combine several of these typologies and a good number of them also incorporate the treatment and conversion of the final digestate as fertiliser.

By region of origin, Catalonia (27) has the largest number of proposals selected, along with Aragon (11) and Andalusia (9). Given the nature of the call for proposals and its direct link to the primary sector activity, the selection criteria for the projects have taken into account, in addition to their technical rigour and degree of innovation, the location in areas of Just Transition and Demographic Challenge. Of the total aid proposed, more than half, 42.1 million, will be granted to initiatives located in these areas.

Distribution of biogas aid

From waste to resource
The proposals selected – in competitive competition – are based on the anaerobic treatment of organic matter deposited in landfills, sludge from urban sewage treatment plants, the use and recovery of agricultural waste, livestock slurry, remains of forestry activity or the agri-food industry, among other varied areas of origin. In all cases, the raw material is transformed from waste to resource, incorporating greater added value in the process and generating business activity and local employment.

In this way, the deployment of biogas helps to fix the population, structuring the territory and giving impetus to the economic development of rural areas. The possibility of generating biogas in a delocalised manner helps to avoid rural depopulation and also creates synergies with the economic reactivation needs of areas undergoing a process of just transition.

Advantages of biogas
Renewable gases are part of the solution to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 and contribute to meeting the emission reduction and renewable energy penetration targets proposed for Spain by 2030, as set out in the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan 2021-2030. In areas such as transport, biogas will help Spain reach the Plan’s target of 28% renewable energy in the sector.

Likewise, biomethane produced from biogas can gradually displace fossil-based natural gas, especially in energy-intensive or difficult-to-electrify applications such as heavy transport or thermal energy-intensive industry, which will reduce Spain’s energy dependence and improve security of energy supply.

In order to identify all these challenges and opportunities in Spain, in March 2022 the Council of Ministers approved the Biogas Roadmap, which plans to multiply current biogas production by 3.8 times by 2030, strengthen the circular economy and fix population in rural areas, thanks to the growth of the business value chain.

This aid is part of Component 7: ‘Deployment and integration of renewable energies’ of the Recovery Plan and, in particular, in its Investment 1: ‘Development of innovative renewable energies, integrated into buildings and production processes’. Furthermore, this call is one of the measures (Measure 4) included in the PERTE-ERHA for Renewable Energies, Renewable Hydrogen and Storage, which will mobilise an investment of more than 16,300 million to develop technology, knowledge, industrial capacities and new business models in the field of clean energies.