In the context of the figures published this week by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, according to which the federal government will not reach the climate objectives they set for 2020, the president of the Biogas Association points to the climate-related performance of biogas plants: “Every year, our biogas plants prevent 20 million tonnes of CO2 emissions. Due to the increase in the additional construction of small manure plants, this trend will continue to grow” because it is well known that these plants are particularly efficient with respect to preventing greenhouse gas emissions. “If, as Chancellor Angela Merkel ensures us, we should be doing everything we can to reach the climate objectives, measures for the future must be agreed upon now, after the parliamentary elections, which specify a clear path to preventing CO2 emissions by using biogas”, insists the president.
The investments for flexibility mentioned by Horst Seide are reflected in the construction of additional capacity in existing plants. Many German plant operators are working toward flexibility and are upgrading their existing plants with additional investments in gas tank capacity and CHP output. Altogether, existing plants installed additional, extra capacity of 175 MW in 2016.
For this year, 2017, the Biogas Association is predicting a slight decrease in new plant construction in Germany. Approximately 143 plants are expected, 130 of which are small manure plants. After subtracting the plants that were shut down, the Association expects a net expansion of 137 new plants. In the existing plants, flexibility is increasing again, resulting in a predicted expansion in capacity of about 239 MW. Together with the new plants, this yields new installed capacity of 260 MW.
This means that at the end of this year, biogas capacity of just about 4,500 MW will be available in Germany. Together, these plants generate just about 33 terawatt hours of electricity, supplying over nine million households. Moreover, as electricity is generated, externally available heat is produced to supply 1.6 million households for the whole year. “Biogas is an energy source that can do much more than ‘just’ generate electricity in a climate friendly manner. Biogas offers solutions for the conversion of heat production, which is urgently needed: biogas can be stored – for the short term in biogas plants or for the long term as biomethane in the gas grid. Biomethane is a climate friendly fuel that has been proven in practice – and moreover, it strengthens agriculture and biodiversity in the fields. I am sure that the future federal government can be convinced of these advantages and that biogas will continue on its successful path”, says Seide.
Here are the current industry figures (PDF download).
A climate friendly trip to the climate conference
To point out the potential of biogas as a climate friendly fuel, the Association drives its biogas bus from Munich to Bonn to the climate conference. Learn more about the COP23 Tour here.
About Fachverband Biogas e.V.
Fachverband Biogas e.V. represents the biogas industry in the German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE) e.V. Fachverband Biogas e.V. is Europe’s largest advocacy organisation for the biogas sector and counts nearly 4,800 members, including operators, manufacturers and planners of biogas plants as well as representatives from science and industry.