In 2021, conditioned biogas injected into Denmark’s gas grid reached a record-breaking 25%, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark’s Trade Council. The renewable natural gas (RNG) is from biogas produced by anaerobic digestion facilities in the country. “Experts expect this number to rise to at least 30% by the end of this year, and 70% in 2030,” says the Trade Council. “Not only has biogas proven to be a great solution to reduce the country’s carbon emissions, but the growing sector has also increased Denmark’s gas self-sufficiency.” In 2018, the last time BioCycle reported on RNG from AD biogas in Denmark, the country had reached a European record with 18% RNG in the gas grid.
In October, a delegation of 16 government officials from Canada and the U.S. traveled to Denmark to explore the potential of biogas. Organized by the Trade Council of Denmark in North America, the visit included tours of biogas plants and meetings with policymakers. Denmark has a long-standing history of producing biogas from agricultural residues, with the sector’s development starting in the 1970s and slowly transforming into today’s advanced industry. Livestock manure, wastewater slurry, and organic waste from industry and households are a huge part of the Danish biogas system, which is largely based on large centralized plants with codigestion of various waste streams. In addition, the nutrient-rich digestate from the AD process has “pretty much eliminated” the typical dependency on imported fertilizer.
Strong policies and large government investments have been a central driver for Denmark’s biogas system. “Early in the process, the Danish biogas sector has been supported by governmental programs which have given the companies great prerequisites for developing technology and solutions,” explains Cecilie Engell Sørensen, director of the Recycling, Waste & Biogas Advisory at the Trade Council of Denmark in North America. “Being in close dialog with the biogas producers and funding extensive academic research on biogas, the Danish government has created a strong foundation for forming policies to expand and support the growing industry.”