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28.04.2015
Finland
Sector: CNG

Biomethane growing big in Finland

LPG autogas may be next to non-existent in Finland, but compressed methane as motor fuel in that country is a whole different story. As it turns out, fossil natural gas is systematically pushed out of the sector by renewable biogas.
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Refueling with biogas at a Gasum station in Finland© Gasum45% of Gasum's customers choose biomethane over fossil natural gas, even though it's more expensive

According to data provided by the Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communication, biomethane accounts for approx. 1/3 of all compressed gas sold as fuel for motor vehicles. Nearly all of Finland's CNG stations (and there are 24 across the country) now offer the cleaner and greener variant. Given that overall monthly CNG sales are around 300 thousand m3, biogas sales in Finland are at approx. 100 thousand m3 a month. That's quite something already.

Drivers of methane-powered cars are given choice and it's up to them if they go with the cheaper fossil gas or the more expensive, but renewable fuel produced from biomass. According to Gasum, a refueling station network operator, 45% of customers choose biogas instead of "conventional" CNG, thus reducing CO2 emissions of their cars by 90% compared to petrol. Depending on production technology, biogas has the potential to reduce carbon footprint by even more than 100% (on a well-to-wheel basis), i. e. its manufacturing can absorb more CO2 than would be emitted by a car running on petrol.

As for Finland and its methane-powered vehicle fleet, it isn't big and comprises 1900 NGVs at the moment (of which 1700 are passenger cars and light duty vans, while the rest are buses and trucks). However, compared to 2013, in 2014 there was a major rise in the number of vehicles running on natural gas – 600 new ones appeared on the road, a hike of 46%.



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Robert Markowski
source: NGVA Europe via NGV Journal, Gasum



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