Home biogas cheat sheet downloads banner ad.
Image text: "Biogas Potential is Too Small".

Biogas Potential is Too Small to Make a Difference – 2 Myths Busted! WBA Report Shows

How large is the biogas potential in terms of energy output? Can there ever be enough anaerobic digestion plants to really make enough of a difference to significantly reduce global carbon emissions?

The pessimists peddle the 2 main myths that:

1) the energy yield from biogas production is too low, which makes it uneconomical and not viable for large-scale implementation, and

2) there is not enough organic waste which can be made available even if the energy yield was improved by better techniques.

So, what do the experts in the UNFCCC who have no vested interests in the AD industry particular reason to favour biogas production say about biogas potential?

The answer is : The pessimists are wrong! Biogas' potential is substantial.

Over the years many have even said; “It's not possible to make enough biogas to make a difference”, but now the myth is truly busted!

Fans of fossil fuels can no longer justify saying;

“Forget biogas. It'll never be more than an inconsequential player, a distraction, and a waste of effort.”

In fact, it's already a large enough renewable energy source that it is  “making a difference”.

Image text: "Biogas Potential is Too Small".

Read on for some facts and figures which demonstrate this.

ADBA Press Release 10 July 2019:


• The World Biogas Association (WBA) publishes its latest report on the Global Potential of Biogas to address global environmental and economic challenges

• The biogas industry can reduce global GHG emissions by 10-13% across multiple sectors

• With currently, only 2% of world feedstock turned into biogas, the industry has a huge scope for growth through the widespread deployment of anaerobic digestion (AD) technology.

As governments around the world finally recognise the scale of the climate crisis facing humanity they are acknowledging the need for action. [Such as] action to counter and mitigate the effects of rising temperatures.

Global biogas potential - Image informs visitors of the win win win win status of biogas.
Scroll Down to find out why biogas technology is “win win win win”.

The Global Potential of Biogas report, unveiled a week ago, by the World Biogas Association at the inaugural World Biogas Summit in Birmingham, illustrates the huge contribution that the AD industry can make.

[In particular] to meeting the Paris Agreement commitments [in 2015], and it's potential to become a key player in the development of a sustainable circular economy.

A key finding of the report is that anaerobic digestion (AD) technology, which produces biogas from the treatment of wastes, can help reduce global GHG emissions by 3,290 to 4,360 Mt CO2 eq – this is equivalent to 10-13% of the world’s current greenhouse gas emissions.

Biogas potential can be used as a fuel for transport and as energy for electricity and heat, whilst the residue left over from biogas generation, known as digestate or natural fertiliser, can replace 5-7% of inorganic fertiliser currently in use. This means it could fertilise 82 million hectares of land, equivalent to the combined arable land in Brazil and Indonesia.

Currently, only 2% of the feedstocks available are treated through AD. These include food waste, sewage waste, farm waste and crops, which can all be used to make biogas in every country. The Biogas potential has hardly been touched so far. The potential for growth is therefore huge. And, with it, the development of a major economic force that provides:

  1. Renewable energy and food security,
  2. Manages waste,
  3. Protects water bodies,
  4. Restores soil health,
  5. Improves air quality,
  6. Promotes health and sanitation, and
  7. Creates mass employment.

David Newman, WBA President, said:

“The contribution that AD and biogas can make to protecting the environment, developing a sustainable circular economy and improving quality of life around the world is enormous. Our report calls on governments worldwide to prioritise policies which aims to maximise treatment of the waste streams, create the legal frameworks in which biogas can be implemented, and to act urgently. With just a decade in which we need to drastically cut GHG emissions, there is no time to lose. The biogas potential is real the industry is here, now, and ready to scale up.”


ADBA Press Release Ends:

Biogas is a Win-Win, Win Win Win!

Yes. It's officially confirmed that full adoption of the potential biomass resource to make biogas through the anaerobic digestion technology is a win-win. But, according to Niclas Svenningsen, Manager, Global Climate Action, UNFCCC on Biogas Potential when giving his keynote speech to the conference it's at least “win win win win win”. 

Yes, that's 5 “wins”! And, in a discussion later with me, he said (as or list in the Press Release above confirms) there are more than 5 wins that he could have repeated. (7 in fact.)

However, he also pointed to how short a period the global community has left to take massive action if the targets are to be met.

Implementation – Summary of the Actions Needed

So, let's stop the chat, and provide our own (abridged) summary of the actions needed:

  1. The removal of all fossil fuel subsidies while helping the low-paid and ceasing all tax breaks for exploration and exploitation of fossil fuel reserves. Amazingly, these subsidies represent a massive 6.5% of global GDP!
  2. National commitments must be made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. All other governments must rapidly move to follow the United Kingdom which has announced this commitment.
  3. National energy plans to raise the level of renewable energy production and consumption must include targets for the production of biogas by AD.
  4. AD should be urgently included in all government strategies for meeting GHG abatement targets and incentivised via carbon markets.
  5. AD is to be included in all renewable energy generation incentives.
  6. A big push is to be made to resolve all technical and regulatory issues around the full use of digestate.
  7. The implement circular economy strategies with AD is an indispensable tool.
  8. AD should be nominated as the preferred method of treatment of all biodegradable wastes, accompanied by policies to bring these wastes into the biogas plants.

Future Developments Indicated by Unequivocal UNFCCC Support for the AD Process Biogas Potential

In comparison to the gradual erosion of government support for AD in the UK, and non-existent or very hesitant support elsewhere in most nations, this will be a sea change.

[Published 10 July 2019. Updated 17 December 2022.]

Tags: , , , , ,
Previous Post
Featured image with text: "Anaerobic Digestion in the US: 6 Incentives".
Anaerobic Digestion Biogas

Anaerobic Digestion in the US: 6 Federal and State Incentives and Funding

Next Post
Anaerobic digestion of whey - Featured Image
Biogas Food Waste Anaerobic Digestion

Anaerobic Digestion of Whey – The Proven Biogas Technology Solution


    • Speller Stena
    • July 11, 2019

    I never thought anyone would say biogas potential is too small. Just listen to the generator going full pelt on our farm, and you won’t say that. I certainly like your website however on there is so much to read. New thoughts on every page.

    • Jesenia
    • December 31, 2019

    I hope to offer one idea. You need to tell the world about the benefits of the biogas for the solving of the problem of pollution from the manure of farms which do not have a digester. This is bad in my area.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Advertisement Banner for Home Biogas Buddy.
ERTG Claims Service Banner