Circular Economy: Naturgy Injects Landfill Gas Into Spanish Distribution Network

Planta de gas renovable Naturgy en vertedero Elena Cerdanyola del Vallès 1Naturgy's renewable gas plant at Elena landfill (Cerdanyola del Vallès)

This week Naturgy has become the first company to inject renewable landfill gas into Spain’s gas distribution network. The renewable gas plant, located in Parc de l’Alba in Cerdanyola del Vallés (Barcelona) next to the Elena waste dump, represented an investment of 2.2 million euros.

The plant will produce 12 GWh/year of biomethane, equivalent to the annual consumption of 3,200 households. In addition, it will prevent the emission of 2,400 tonnes of CO2/year into the atmosphere, an amount equivalent to planting some 5,000 trees.

Part of the gas that will be injected into the grid will be used to supply fuel for vehicles at Naturgy stations, as it is a totally viable alternative for sustainable mobility.

The group’s objective is that by 2050 all the gas circulating in its networks will be of renewable origin. The company is digitalising its entire distribution infrastructure with a view to the massive entry of renewable gases. It has submitted biomethane and hydrogen projects worth 4 billion euros to the various Expressions of Interest to promote tractor projects within the framework of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan.

Naturgy is confident in the development of renewable gas on a commercial scale and has gained experience with projects launched in recent years such as Methamorphosis, in Vilasana (Lleida), which has funding from the European Union. Or the one located in the wastewater treatment plant of Bens, in A Coruña, co-financed by the Xunta through ERDF funds to produce biomethane from wastewater for mobility purposes.

This type of project supports local energy production in close proximity to the main potential biomethane generating areas (landfills, slurry farms and wastewater treatment plants).

According to the report ‘Renewable gases. An emerging energy vector’, published by the Naturgy Foundation, the maximum production potential of renewable gases in Spain could be equivalent to 65% of the current total demand for natural gas, if its development were to be decisively promoted. The authors of the study argue that, if Spain develops its full production potential, it could reduce around 35 million tonnes of CO2, i.e. more than 10% of the greenhouse gas emissions forecast for 2030. This value is equivalent to the CO2 emitted by its entire fleet of cars in a year or the CO2 absorbed by the entire forest area of Spain in 2017.

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