Large Scale Biomethane Injection into the Grid: Is Current Legal Framework an Enabler or an Obstacle?

36 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2015

See all articles by Anna Butenko

Anna Butenko

Amsterdam Centre for Energy (Centrum voor Energievraagstukken), University of Amsterdam; Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC), Tilburg University

Johan Holstein

DNV KEMA Energy and Sustainability

Date Written: November 22, 2013

Abstract

In this paper we analyse biomethane injection into the grid from the perspective of a degree of fit between the level of technology and the formal institutions (laws and regulations) supporting it. We conclude that there are situations in which biomethane produced cannot be injected into the grid due to capacity constraints and/or monopolization of the available capacity by other biomethane producers. We also illustrate a number of technical solutions for accommodating biomethane in the natural gas grid and analyse how these solutions are reflected in the legal framework. On the basis of this analysis we conclude that the degree of fit between the current legal framework (aimed at uni-lateral flows from upstream production to downstream consumption) and the current biomethane developments (translating into downstream production and sometimes upstream consumption) is not sufficient for the efficient functioning of the energy market (i.e. corresponding to the criteria of balanced cost-benefit distribution, market access and level-playing field). In this paper we propose a number of measures for reactive changes to the legal framework which could help increase the future degree of fit between the two.

Keywords: biomethane, biogas, green gas, legal framework, grid injection, network, regulation

JEL Classification: Q40, Q42, Q48, Q20, Q28, Q50, Q58

Suggested Citation

Butenko, Anna and Holstein, Johan, Large Scale Biomethane Injection into the Grid: Is Current Legal Framework an Enabler or an Obstacle? (November 22, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2583818 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2583818

Anna Butenko (Contact Author)

Amsterdam Centre for Energy (Centrum voor Energievraagstukken), University of Amsterdam ( email )

Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC), Tilburg University ( email )

Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Johan Holstein

DNV KEMA Energy and Sustainability ( email )

Energieweg 17
Groningen, 9743 AN
Netherlands

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