We are inexhaustible energy

Publié le 12 November 2020

Lecture 3 min

Locally produced, reliable and produced regularly, we are an inexhaustible and virtuous energy source. We can be injected into gas networks or stored.

With a supply of raw materials, within easy reach

The supply of resources required for local production of renewable gas is readily available in large quantities and its potential is estimated at the early stages of any project. It is available within close radius of the production facilities, from farms, restaurants, industry, or even water treatment plants. The nature and volume of inputs (livestock effluent, household waste, crop residues, sewage sludge, non-recyclable solid and liquid waste, etc.) represent an almost inexhaustible potential source of energy.

Production channels are adapted to different types of resources

Depending on the material available, different technical processes can be used to produce renewable gas. Anaerobic digestion makes it possible to recover organic materials such as livestock effluent, green waste, crop residues or household biodegradable waste. It consists of breaking down organic matter in the absence of oxygen. Pyrogasification converts solid waste that is rarely or inefficiently recovered, such as biomass residues, tyres and plastics, into an injectable gas by heating them at very high temperatures (between 800 and 1,500°C) with little or no oxygen exposure. Finally, hydrothermal gasification is used to treat liquid biomass waste and residues such as sewage sludge, effluents from industries (paper mills, agri-food, etc.), livestock effluent or digestates from anaerobic digestion. It consists of heating liquid biomass at high pressure (250 to 300 bars) and at high temperature (between 400 and 700°C) to produce a gas that can be injected into the networks.

Power-to-Gas, and how to store electricity

Power-to-Gas makes it possible to transform unused electricity, particularly surplus energy produced by intermittent energies such as wind or solar power, to produce hydrogen using electrolysis of water. Hydrogen can then either be injected directly into the networks or be combined with carbon dioxide (CO2) using a process of methanation, to obtain a synthetic methane that can be injected into existing networks.

Coordinating on production

As renewable gas is produced locally, the local authorities are therefore necessary stakeholders in the regional coherence of this project. For the local authority, a renewable gas production unit is an effective means of processing materials and waste locally, but also for generating wealth and jobs locally. Their involvement at different stages of the project relates to choosing a suitable sector that is in line with the environment, input management and production based on local consumption needs. Once injected into the gas networks, the energy produced can also be transported to a neighbouring region or it can be stored for consumption at a later date. Communication and consultation with local residents are also essential to explain the advantages and the challenges of the project at a municipal level.


Renewable gases are virtuous and inexhaustible energy sources, offering solutions to issues facing local authorities such as adding value to local resources, energy independence and economic development. They also contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.