The Austrian Biomethane Market (status beginning of 2022)

Biomethane is renewable gas produced by microbiological degradation of organic materials (agricultural or industrial organic residues, organic waste, energy crops, manure, etc.). It is produced in biogas plants equipped with upgrading units to purify biogas to natural gas quality and thus to biomethane. This biomethane can be fed into the local gas grid and thus made available to consumers of all consumer segments.

With a total of 15 plants for the production of renewable gas (biomethane), Austria is lacking behind in Europe-wide comparison (considering data as of 2021). Only eight of the 18 European countries in which biomethane is produced count fewer plants than Austria. These countries are only in the process of establishing their biomethane markets as each count fewer than 5 plants.

Biomethane production and injection volumes have steadily increased in Austria between 2011 and 2018. The highest injection of ~170 GWh was achieved in 2018. In 2019, injection volumes decreased, and had reached a level comparable to 2017 at around 150 GWh. The annual Austrian gas consumption of 90 TWh (average value 2011-2021) is offset by the annual biomethane injection into the public grid of about 146 GWh (average value 2016-2021), which can cover approximately 0.2% of the annual Austrian gas demand. About 20% of the injection volume (150 GWh) is used in the electricity sector thanks to green power subsidies by the Renewable Power Act (ÖSG).

For the time being, the predominant business case for the production and marketing of biomethane remained the green electricity feed-in subsidy. The further development of the biomethane market is not only based on the increase of production volumes by retrofitting biogas plants producing and the construction of new biomethane plants, but also on the development of systems for the documentation of renewable gas volumes and the elaboration of corresponding legal and market framework conditions. Biomethane is increasingly gaining attention in its use as a gaseous energy carrier, not least due to the European Green Deal published by the EU Commission.

Yearly statistics are provided in German language

Number of Austrian biomethane plants

Between 2011 and 2017, 10 new biomethane injection plants were connected to the Austrian gas grid. In 2017, the highest number of plants to date was 15. In 2020, one plant was made inactive. In 2021, the capcacity of an existing biogas plant was extended and a biomethane upgrading and injection was implemented. Biomethane is currently processed to natural gas quality at 14 locations and fed into the gas grid. There is one additional plant producing biomethane of natural gas grade, which is not connected to the Austrian gas grid and thus no injection volumes of this plant are documented by AGCS. In total, 15 biomethane plants are operated in Austria. 

Biomethane injection in Austria

This graph shows the annual energy amounts (in GWh) of biomethane injection into the Austrian gas grid. The steady increase in feed-in volumes between 2011 and 2018 is clearly visible and can be attributed to the increase in the number of biomethane production plants. The highest feed-in volume was reached in 2018 with 170 GWh. In 2019, feed-in volumes decreased and reached a comparable level with the feed-in volumes of 2017. In 2019, there were four months in which there was no feed-in for at least one plant. In 2020, the total energy amount from biomethane injection was also sharply reduced, due to reduced feed-ins from two biomethane plants. The feed-in quantities for 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 are at similar level. 

Annual ownership transfers in Austria

This graph represents the number of biomethane certificate ownership transfers made and accepted per production/injection year. The biomethane production plants are represented anonymously in colour.

Comparison of annual gas consumption vs. annual biomethane production in Austria

The table compares annual gas consumption with annual biomethane production in Austria. The biomethane share of gas consumption remains low. Since the Biomethan Register Austria started operations and records (2011-2023), 1.496 TWh of biomethane has been injected into the Austrian natural gas grid. (Data provided by A&B Ausgleichsenergie & Bilanzgruppen-Management AG, AGCS Gas Clearing and Settlement AG, Biomethan Register Austria).

European biomethane market: ERGaR publishes statistics on cross-border transfers of ownership of biomethane certificates

The AGCS Biomethan Register Austria is linked to the ERGaR system since autumn 2021.

This provides Austrian market participants with an extended market (several European countries up to the whole of Europe) through the design of a single technical interface. In this way, the registries enable their registry users to exchange biomethane certificates securely and in a standardised manner across borders.

The statistical data published by ERGaR are transactions processed through the ERGaR Certificate of Origin Scheme. These figures are the first transparent and reliable data collected through a central European system.

The data is updated on a quarterly basis and can be viewed at the following link: