Energy self-sufficiency and sustainability in a defined neighbourhood: Bio-methanation to green gas can outperform green hydrogen

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In Europe, green hydrogen and biogas/green gas are considered important renewable energy carriers, besides renewable electricity and heat. Still, incentives proceed slowly, and the feasibility of local green gas is questioned. A supply chain of decentralised green hydrogen production from locally generated electricity (PV or wind) and decentralised green gas production from locally collected biomass and biological power-to-methane technology was analysed and compared to a green hydrogen scenario. We developed a novel method for
assessing local options. Meeting the heating demand of households was constrained by the current EU law (RED II) to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80% relative to fossil (natural) gas. Levelised cost of energy
(LCOE) analyses at 80% GHG emission savings indicate that locally produced green gas (LCOE = 24.0 €ct/kWh) is more attractive for individual citizens than locally produced green hydrogen (LCOE = 43.5 €ct/kWh). In case higher GHG emission savings are desired, both LCOEs go up. Data indicate an apparent mismatch between heat demand in winter and PV electricity generation in summer. Besides, at the current state of technology, local onshore wind turbines have less GHG emissions than PV panels. Wind turbines may therefore have advantages over PV fields despite the various concerns in society. Our study confirms that biomass availability in a dedicated region is a challenge.
Original languageEnglish
Article number117370
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2023


  • biogas
  • bio-methanation
  • greenhouse gas emission saving
  • green gas
  • green hydrogen production
  • supply chain analysis

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