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Policy support

The political framework for Sweden to develop biogas sector consists of several targets: the decision that the transport sector should be fossil independent by 2030 and whole Sweden independent of fossil fuels by 2050. The deposition of organic waste in landfills was banned in Sweden in 2005. The Government has also set a target that at least 35% of food wastes from households, restaurants and shops should be recycled through biological treatment. The majority of the phosphorous in sewage should be recycled to productive land, with at least half being returned to arable land.

To achieve these targets, Sweden has introduced a number of control measures and supporting incentives. Many of them are not specific (such as taxes for fossil fuels), but also narrow targeted investment aid are available – e.g. investment aid for the construction of biogas plants in agriculture.

The state investment programs have been an important driving force behind most Swedish biogas projects and in many cases have enabled the development of new technology and demonstration objects. Many biogas plants have been built with contributions from investment programmes and a number of improvements and extensions to existing plants have also been financed in this way.

Most important efforts to support biogas in Sweden include
  • Energy and carbon dioxide taxes (neither energy tax nor carbon dioxide tax is taken for most bio fuels, including biogas)
  • No taxes for biogas used for transport
  • Investment Support for biogas production in rural programs
  • Electricity Certificates , (i.e. gives a certain amount per kWh produced, the prize is decided by market, all producers are obliged to produce certain amount of renewable energy)

Additional info in Swedish:

Use of Biogas in Sweden

Biogas production in Sweden is today approximately 1.4 TWh and it is estimated that the total amount of biogas through anaerobic digestion can be raised to 3-4 TWh. Profitability is greatest for sewage sludge and restaurant and food waste. The largest remaining potential exists for food waste that could be collected and treated. It is also realistic to increase the production of biogas from municipal sewage treatment by optimisation of processes increase the adopted biogas yield by 10 - 40%. Also crop residues and manure are substrates for biogas production, but less attractive.
There are 227 biogas plants in Sweden today (138 sewage treatment plants, 3 industrial, 18 co-digestion plants and 60 landfills). Most of the biogas (c. 60%) is produced at sewage treatment plants, while 30% comes from landfills and 10% from co-digestion plants. This composition greatly varies from e.g. Germany, the reason being different support systems and political framework.

Biogas upgrading and vehicle fuels

Successful developments in Sweden have resulted in an increased use of biogas as a vehicle fuel. At present, there are 43 upgrading plants in the country (September 2010). Awareness of the advantages of biogas is increasing as well as demand for biogas as a vehicle fuel. New technologies for the purification and transport of biogas have been developed and the number of filling stations for biogas in Sweden is continuously increasing. There are today more than 120 filling stations for vehicle gas in Sweden and many more are being planned. Gas-driven bi-fuel private cars from more than 10 different companies are available on the Swedish market, and the number is increasing. Buses and trucks can also be run on gas.
If the biogas is to be used as vehicle fuel or distributed through the gas grid, it must first be purified from corrosive components, particulate matter and water, and the energy content must be increased by removing carbon dioxide. The two commonest upgrading techniques are the water wash method and PSA (pressure swing adsorption). Swedish technology companies have very good knowledge on upgrading/purification of biogas.

Some links

Stakeholders and institutions

Besides the organisations mentioned above, there are several regional organisations like BiogasSyd, BiogasÖste, BiogasVäst, BiogasNorr, gathering biogas stakeholders from the different regions.

Best practices