What Can Replace Gas?


Energy resources become fewer and fewer with the flow of years. Owing to it the field of renewable sources of energy, including bioenergy resources, is in active development now. For example, in several Russian regions boilers start to be transferred from coal and gas to biofuel. At present, their potential is greatly underestimated. The cheapest resources that can replace coal or gas are peat briquette, wood and wood processing waste.

Besides, biogas power industry is quite competitive. The maximum potential of bioenergy industry is concentrated in utilization of waste – that of agriculture and industry, wood processing sectors, food industry, as well as household waste. According to various estimates, the total technical potential of biomass in Russia is about 15 000-20 000 MW. It is comparable with the capacity of all atomic power stations of Russia as of 2011 – 23 643 MW.

According to the data of the National Union of Bioenergy, Renewable Energy and Ecology, in the Russian territory annually about 450 million t of livestock farming waste are produced, 58 million t of which remain as dry. Utilization of such a volume by anaerobic fermentation gives a possibility to generate over 33 billion cub. m of biogas a year. Besides, quite available raw materials for biogas production are concentrated in the processing industry and plant farming field, which make it possible to obtain, in total, not less than 63 billion cub. m of biogas a year.

Of high potential as regards biogas production is the wood industry. According to estimates of the Association of Biotechnologists of Russia, the prospective volume of wood processing industry waste amounts to about 200 million cub. m a year, while the annual volume of industrial and household waste, which could be used with the purpose of power generation, is about 165 million t.

Figure. Perspective volumes of biogas production in various fields

Perspective volumes of biogas production in various fields

Source: National Union of Bioenergy, Renewable Energy and Ecology

The research by Intesco Research Group Energy Saving in Gas Industry. Current Situation and Forecast analyzes in detail the structure of use of energy resources in Russia, and, according to specialists’ estimates, the share of bioenergy fuel in it can be significantly expanded in future.

The given figures were calculated by analysts of Intesco Research Group based on the official statistics.