Economics: anaerobic digestion has everything for the sector of the future

Waste management, renewable energy production, reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, support for agriculture: methanation is the way of the future to contribute to the energy and environmental transition of Aude and the Eastern Pyrenees.

Anaerobic digestion is a waste treatment and recovery process that mimics the natural biological process by which bacteria break down organic matter. “Anaerobic digestion is at the crossroads of many activities.says Fabien Haas, managing director of Total Energies Biogaz France (headquarters: Roquefort 47), a subsidiary of the oil group.

It has a presence in Perpignan through the BioRoussillon division. This allows local processing of organic materials from agricultural or agri-food production. The result is a material that can be used as a natural fertilizer. The process also produces biogas, which, after purification, can be re-injected into the gas network managed by GRDF. This energy can be used for heating, land and sea mobility and industrial processes. After all, anaerobic digestion is a local alternative to incineration and landfill.” Thus, for Fabien Haas, this process is beneficial, since it is part of the circular economy and contributes to the energy autonomy of the territory.

Fabien Haas, Managing Director of Total Energies Biogaz France.
Total energy

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BioRoussillon methanization plant gains momentum in Perpignan

Regional ambitions

In some countries, such as Germany and Italy, methanization has already reached maturity, but in France it is accelerating. Already in 2020, this process was part of the energy mix with 214 plants injecting biomethane into the grid, representing 3.9 terawatt-hours of production capacity, i.e. increase in production capacity by 73% compared to 2019.

Occitanie has about forty businesses, including in Aude and the Eastern Pyrenees. This process includes a scenario of a positive energy region by 2050, initiated by a regional institution, which aims to produce biogas with 9,400 GWh in 2050 (up from 70 GWh in 2015).

In this context, the region, together with partners, decided to establish a regional clean gas center to help and support the development of renewable clean gases (CRGV).
They are currently close to 10,000 inhabitants consume gas produced in Perpignan.he assures before adding: the context of the rise in prices of energy carriers such as gas, as well as nitrogen fertilizers, which come, in particular, from Russia, reinforce the idea that methanation can be an interesting lever for the territories.”.

According to him, “Total Energies, also an energy supplier, predicts that biogas production will increase to 10% by 2030, compared to 1-2% at present. This is equivalent to increasing our production capacity tenfold, from 0.5 terawatt-hours to more than four. There will be new sites, but we are also working on the purchase of active units.”

Development Source Biowaste Management

The ambitions of sector players operating in Occitania in particular, such as Total Energies Biogaz, Arkolia Energies, Valorem, etc., echo the development potential of the methanization sector. “There are potential opportunities, in particular those related to the separate collection of biowaste from large producers such as canteens or households (for which the Energy Transition for Green Growth Act sets the goal of universal sorting at source by 2025), as well as in agricultural sectorHe says. The idea is not to create anaerobic digestion sites everywhere. Against. The production site is of interest only if it is located close to gas suppliers and consumers.”

According to research and consulting firm Solargo:IThe areas most favorable for the development of anaerobic digestion are located around Carcassonne, Fanjot, Lavalette and Castelnaudary. Development will be more limited in the Eastern Pyrenees.“.

recruiting industry

At a time when many sectors are vying for hiring, does the sector have the means to match its ambitions? “Total Energies Biogaz France currently has about 100 employees. We expect 40 to 50 people to be recruited in 2022. 50% of the team’s growth is related to the maintenance and operation of the site. In particular, we are looking for a Project Manager and Regional Manager in Occitania.announces Fabien Haas, who is considering setting up a training center. We employ specialists of various profiles: salespeople, developers, design offices, workers, logistics, auxiliary functions, operation, maintenance, biologists, agronomists… The average age of our team is 35 years! We feel that new generations are being drawn into professions that are as important as ours.”

By contributing to the ecological and energy transition, as well as recycling and employment, the biogas sector supports the world of tomorrow.

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