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Solar package brings improvements for biomass, but does not stop decommissioning of the German biogas sector

Berlin, Germany.

Press Release Hauptstadtbüro Bioenergie

Yesterday, the agreement of the government factions on the so-called solar package and thus on the amendment of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) was announced. Bioenergy-related topics were also included in the committee's recommendations.

Sandra Rostek, Head of the Hauptstadtbüro Bioenergie, comments on the long-awaited agreement between the governing parties on the solar package: "It is good that the members of the Bundestag have also included biomass aspects in the amendments to the solar package. This has allowed a number of problematic regulations to be improved, suspended or completely abolished."

Among other things, the southern quota in the biomass tenders and the restriction of biomethane tenders to the southern region are to be temporarily suspended. In addition, unused volumes from the biomethane tenders are to be transferred to the biomass tenders in future. The Federal Network Agency will be given the opportunity to increase the maximum bid values by 15% instead of the previous 10%. Furthermore, the requirement for substrates to remain in the gas-tight system for 150 days is to be dropped for all biogas plants, regardless of the EEG or year of commissioning. Finally, existing small-scale liquid manure plants will be allowed to increase their output in future, provided they do not claim EEG remuneration for the additional electricity.

"Nevertheless, it must be emphasized that the solar package has not been the big hit that the industry urgently needed. We now urgently need a biomass package instead of being an appendage to another solar package. After all, the small shifts in biomethane volumes are far from sufficient. Without a significant increase in volumes in the regular segment, it will not be possible to maintain the biogas plant portfolio at its current level; the dismantling will continue almost unabated," appeals Rostek.

According to Rostek, there is also a lack of significant incentives for flexible electricity and heat production, such as an increase in the flexibility surcharge: "Legislators should recognize the great advantages of flexible combined heat and power generation against the backdrop of the power plant strategy and the heat transition and provide greater support! Because compared to the construction of completely new power plants, increasing the flexibility of existing biogas plants is many times cheaper - especially when you compare the climate-friendly energy source biogas with green hydrogen, which is not expected to be available in sufficient quantities until the early 2040s," concludes Rostek.