Pioneering a sustainable future by turning waste into value
About the Company:
Nature Energy is the world’s first fully integrated renewable natural gas (RNG) company, introducing a strong business model for financing, building, owning and operating large-scale biogas plants, together with local partners, providing superior solutions for anaerobic digestion systems.
The company has developed models for handling complex biomasses and is continuously enhancing options for high value products based on the organic waste feedstock. Along with the production of RNG, current developments also focus on the reuse and commercialization of CO2 and power-to-x technologies.
Over the years, Nature Energy has developed into a key player in the green transition and they are experiencing great interest and demand for biogas plants on the international market. Therefore, their ambitions include investing in new, large-scale biogas plants in several European countries and in North America. Today, Nature Energy owns and operates 11 biogas plants located throughout Denmark, and operate one plant in France while more projects are in the pipeline.
Nature Energy’s biogas plants will treat more than 4 million tonnes of biomass – waste from agriculture, industry and households – in 2021, converting it into more than 165 million m3 of green gas. That much biogas could be used to fuel 8,000 lorries driving 30,000 miles per year, or to heat 57,000 homes. All of this is CO2-neutral as well as replacing fossil fuels.
Nature Energy is part of a Biogas Alliance led by the Danish Trade Council in North America.
About the Solution:
Nature Energy’s anaerobic digester systems produce nutrient rich organic fertilizer and biomethane from many different types of organic waste materials can be processed with its leading co-digestion technology. Nature Energy uses several different types of waste in the production process and a large part of society's organic waste can go directly into biogas production. This also applies to waste from individual households where citizens contribute by sorting their bio-waste.
The plants are often based on a cooperative business model, bringing value to local farmers and other stakeholder partners.
Nature Energy has built more than 70 large-scale biogas plants, of which 9 are of the design-build-own-operate-finance concept. The company’s strategy is focused on large-scale, centralized co-digestion biogas plants.
Their largest facility is currently producing 22 million cubic meters of biomethane per year; processing 700,000 metric tons of biomass (manure, agricultural residuals, food waste); and providing fertilizer to surrounding crop farmers. Nature Energy is currently exploring and building projects in both the US and Canada, as North America is one of its primary regions.
Solution Strengths, Weaknesses and Critical Indicators
Anaerobic Digester Associated Technology:
NOTE: There are several technology types that are used as part of an integrated manure management system that includes an anaerobic digester and are not applicable to manure management in other cases. The impact of these technologies on the critical indicators are represented as those of an entire anaerobic digester system.
- Long usable life and can be run reliably
- Creates energy and generates environmental credits
- Requires proper preparation of the feedstock
- Requires other technologies for energy utilization
- Requires other technologies for digestate handling
- Proper feeding & system monitoring is required to avoid system downtime
- Proven technology for odor control, GHG reduction and pathogen reduction
Nature Energy has not been evaluated using Newtrient's 9-point scoring process because they are just beginning to work on biogas projects in North America at this time and do not currently have any in the dairy sector. Nature Energy is interested in entering U.S. markets and is being assisted by the Danish Trade Council. Newtrient will continue to work with Nature Energy and the Danish Trade Council to provide more information on this company as it becomes available.
In an article in Manure Manager (October 2023), a representative of Nature Energy issued the following statement:
Nature Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Shell plc (Shell), has strategically suspended all of its projects in the U.S. In line with efforts to deliver maximum value, we consistently review our portfolio projects to ensure the right mix of assets and, when needed, take necessary action to ensure the prudent commercial course is achieved.
1. OPERATIONAL HISTORY