The global biogas market reached revenues of $17.3 billion in 2011 and has been forecast to double over the next decade, hitting a market value of $33.1 billion by 2022.
Although a relatively minor player within the overall bioenergy sector, the market for biogas sits at the confluence of a number of forces, including increasing demand for distributed generation, tightening environmental regulations, and accelerating buildout of infrastructure for natural gas and for vehicles powered by natural gas.
A byproduct of anaerobic digestion (AD), a process in which microorganisms break down organic matter in an oxygen-starved environment, biogas is gaining traction as a versatile energy carrier with significant potential to meet growing demand within the power, heat, fuel, and chemical markets.
Global installed production capacity is now more than 800 billion cubic feet per year, representing nearly 14.5 gigawatts (GW) of installed distributed and grid-scale renewable generation capacity.
Supportive government policies will see Germany continue to dominate global biogas energy generation for the foreseeable future. Biogas power generation is forecast to increase from 18,244 Gigawatt hours (GWh) in 2012 to 28,265 GWh in 2025, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.4%.
Germany contributed the largest share to the world’s cumulative installed capacity in 2011. The country accounts for approximately a quarter of the global biogas installed capacity.
The German government has been instrumental in developing the biogas electricity market in the country through the development and operation of agricultural methanization plants.
By comparison, the US, the second most productive biogas power producer, is expected to increase generation from a more modest 2012 figure of 9,072 GWh to 20,936 GWh in 2025, at a CAGR of 6.6%.
For more information on the global biogas market, see the latest research: Global Biogas Market