Netherlands

Technical standards for biomethane and natural gas

Upgraded biogas derived from all feedstocks is allowed to enter the grid. In order to ensure the injected gas is free of pathogenes a HEPA filter needs to be installed and related gas measurements are carried out twice a year. 

Due to the lower heating value in the major part of the grid there is less effort on upgrading and necessary to adjust biogas' quality to match the natural gas requirements. On the one hand less energy and operating costs are needed for CO2 removal. On the other hand in most of the cases augmentation of heating value by adding LPG or propane is not necessary and reduces operating costs significantly.

Gas quality requirements are under discussion at the moment. Being mainly constructed by using steel pipes, the Netherland's gas grid is considered to be more sensitive towards corrosion compared to grids made from other materials. Therefore when discussing about biomethane entering the grid gas quality parameters such as oxygen content are highly under discussion. 

Requirements for gas quality

The requirements for gas quality are written in Article 12b of the Dutch Gas Act: Connection and Transport conditions DSO’s. In the specific case of biomethane injection into the grid, these conditions are extended with the ‘Supplementary Terms DSO’s to biomethane suppliers’. These conditions including the supplements are part of the Connection and Gas Transportation Agreement between the DSO and the green gas supplier. 

These Supplementary Terms for biomethane injection are still under discussion and not finalised yet. 

Grid access restrictions

The injected gas in the grid should be technical free of pathogenes, therefore a HEPA-filter should be installed, gascontrol twice a year. All green gas produced is accepted to the grid as long as it meets the gas quality standards and supplementary terms of the DSO. Only in other cases like direct gas connections there could be different gasquality regimes.   

Barriers

The handling of the gastransport capacity in the gasgrid during summertime is still under discussion. There is an obligation for gridoperators to connect the plants, but there is no obligation for transportation of the biomethane. Also it is not regulated who should have grid access preference when several projects are willing to inject in a certain grid with limited transport capacity. This is under negotiations with all DSOs. Costs for grid extensions and recompressions are paid by the plant operators. 

Other regulation

  • General emission related issues are described under the regulations of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment (BEMS regulation)
  • List for the use of authorized co-substrates for digestion regulated by the law of fertilization (in Dutch: Meststoffenwet)
  • Permission for plant construction (building permittees) lead down in regulations of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment
  • Tax regulations for Green Gas as a biofuel set by Ministry of Finance