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France eyes agricultural waste to replace Russian gas

In an effort to reduce its reliance on natural gas from sanctions-hit Russia, France wants to ramp up biomethane production from agricultural waste. It’s hoped the biogas can replace Russian fuel in less than 10 years.

French farmers have expressed support for Europe’s bid to wean itself off Russian gas, and are planning to launch new biofuel production facilities, the Associated Press reports, adding that small biofuel stations are already supplying hundreds or thousands of households.

However, the biogas solution is unlikely to provide a quick replacement for supplies from Russia, AP noted.

French authorities have reportedly taken several steps to accelerate bio-methane development since the launch of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.

Bio-methane met some 1% of French energy needs in 2021, and is expected to increase to at least 2% this year, AP quotes industry representatives as saying.

Gas obtained from agriculture could reportedly make up 20% of French gas consumption by 2030, which would be more gas than France imported last year from Russia.

Bio-methane production could be doubled in a matter of years but it won’t be cheap, according to Andrea Horbelt, a spokeswoman for the German biogas association.

“Using biogas for electricity is more expensive than solar and wind, and will always remain so,” Horbelt explained




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