The Sustainable biogas project organized events in June 2022 in Finland and Latvia to present the results of the project. The aim of the events was to highlight the project’s findings and recommendations to local actors.
The Finnish event was held as a webinar on 15th of June and gathered more than 80 interested participants.
At the Finnish event, the project partners presented the key findings and recommendations on various aspects of the project. In addition, several stakeholders were heard including decision-makers, the biogas industry, and users of recycled nutrients.
In the opening speech of the webinar, the John Nurminen Foundation’s CEO Annamari Arrakoski-Engardt reviewed the progress of the project from the preparation to the present. In her speech, she emphasized the importance of good cooperation between the consortium for the success of the project.
Then Veli-Pekka Reskola from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry gave a keynote speech on the future of biogas, and security of energy and fertilizer supply in Finland. He pointed out that the Sustainable biogas project outputs, such as guidelines and operating models for the use of recycled nutrients, were completed at just the right time. Reskola stressed that the production of biogas can also facilitate the security of supply of fertilizers.
The main messages and recommendations of the project were given in three main parts in the webinar. The first part was opened by Anna Virolainen-Hynnä (Suomen biokierto ja biokaasu ry) with her presentation on guidelines for nutrient management in biogas plants and the development of the market for recycled nutrients. According to Virolainen-Hynnä, many of the project’s development targets, such as for the recycled fertilizer of the quality fertilizer quality system, could be introduced immediately in Finland.
The first part was followed by commentary speeches from a farmer Kari Mutkala and Katja Alhonoja, a representative of Gasum Oy. They brought up the perspectives of users and producers of recycled nutrients.
The second main part was opened by Pekka Paavilainen from the ELY Center for Southwest Finland. Paavilainen presented the new nutrient management tools, and proposals for the development of sustainable biogas production at the national and regional levels. In the presentation, he emphasized the need for more effective co-operation between different actors and authorities, the consideration of reject waters and nutrient management in permitting, and the use of recycled nutrients according to the needs of plants.
Then Alise Sierina (Latvian State Environmental Services) presented a perspective of a project partner from Latvia. Sierina brought up that there are fewer biogas plants in Latvia, but they produce more energy than in Finland. According to her, the sustainability of biogas production could be promoted, for example, by developing an international database of the best practices of permitting authorities.
In the last part Anna Saarentaus (John Nurminen Foundation) presented the project’s conclusions and recommendations to decision-makers. Saarentaus suggested that, for example, the location of biogas plants should be determined according to the nutrient balance in the area, and the amount of nutrients should also be monitored and reported. She brought up also that there is good experience in Germany in identifying areas sensitive to eutrophication and the same practice would be beneficial in Finland.
The perspective of the decision-makers for the project recommendations was given by Leena Ylä-Mononen from the Ministry of the Environment. Ylä-Mononen commented that the Sustainable Biogas project created good recommendations and knowledge, which can be utilized in the ministry’s work in the future. She also recalled that the project supports HELCOM’s recycling strategy.
The webinar was ended with a speech by financier representative Samu Numminen (Interreg Central Baltic Program).
See the Finnish webinar below. (In Finnish)