Model-based estimation of market potential for Bio-SNG in the German biomethane market until 2030 within a system dynamics approach
¹DBFZ – Deutsches BiomasseForschungszentrum gGmbH, Department of Bioenergysystems, Torgauer Straße 116, DE 04347 Leipzig, Germany
²UFZ – Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Department of Bioenergysystems, Permoserstraße 15, DE 04347 Leipzig, Germany
One option for energy provision from renewables is the production and grid injection of synthetic natural gas from lignin-rich biomass like wood and straw. Bio-SNG (biological produced synthetic/substitute natural gas) is the product of the thermochemical production of methane via gasification and methanation of lignin-rich biomass. The first commercial bio-SNG plant went successfully into operation in the end of 2014, in Gothenburg (Sweden). Regarding the huge potential of lignin-rich biomass bio-SNG is expected to have a high potential for a sustainable and greenhouse gas reducing contribution in power, heat and fuel markets. Being a future technology with great advantages like storability and transportability within a gas grid but recently too high prices for market implementation, possible future market shares are uncertain because bio-SNG has to compete with anaerobic biomethane as well as fossil alternatives. With the combination of an extensive techno-economic evaluation for present and future costs of bio-SNG depending on the feedstock supply chain and economy of scale, Delphi-Survey and a quantitative market simulation we determined future market shares for biomethane and bio-SNG for Germany under varying scenarios like incentive schemes, economy of scale and feedstock prices. Results indicate that substantial governmental support in terms of either R&D effort to lower bio-SNG prices or direct subsidies for a further capacity development is necessary to achieve significant market shares for biogenic methane.