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German Biogas Association goes worldwide


+++ Global interest in biogas is growing +++ Enquiries about consultancy services from lots of different countries +++ Association supports better framework conditions for development of biogas use +++

At the start of March a workshop was held in Belgrade for Serbian biogas stakeholders and political decision makers as part of the in-depth cooperation between the German Biogas Association and the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in Serbia. Frank Hofmann, from the German Biogas Association, provided the 50 or so participants with information about German experiences of the influence of incentive systems on the quality and quantity of plant developments at the event organised by the GIZ on the subject of “Development of the biogas market in Serbia - Impact of incentives on sustainability”.

The German Biogas Association has been working closely with the GIZ in Serbia for some years. In 2016 some 80 advisers from the Serbian Ministry of Agriculture received intensive training to help them understand the fundamentals of biogas use, identify interesting locations and help them advise agricultural firms about biogas.

“Currently biogas in Serbia is increasing in importance”, explains the German Biogas Association’s CEO, Dr. Claudius da Costa Gomez. “And we, with cooperation of the GIZ, are happy to help develop and expand the necessary structures for a functioning industry”.

Serbia wants to become a member of the EU and in order to do so must fulfil requirements regarding environmental protection and the use of renewable energies, amongst others. In view of this the country has already created attractive feed-in tariffs for biogas plants, which are to be further optimised and adapted in future.

There are currently ten biogas plants in operation in Serbia and others in the pipeline. “This is also an interesting market for the biogas firms”, emphasises da Costa Gomez. At the moment many companies are hesitant and are playing a waiting game. The CEO explains the Associations goal: “With our commitment, we want to reduce the barriers and thus make it easier for our member companies to enter this interesting market”.

The German Biogas Association, as an experienced, neutral and independent organisation, is a welcome “aid worker” in matters of biogas. GIZ and the Association cooperate in other countries, such as Kenya and Thailand. Two workshops on the subjects of “Energy in citizens’ hands” and “Safety” have already taken place in Thailand. Furthermore the German association is helping its Thai counterpart to develop structures and statutes of association, similarly with the IBA, the Indian Biogas Association, which is being supported by Germany through a three-year project.

“The German Biogas Association’s international work is increasing in importance”, explains da Costa Gomez. “Our aim is to develop and expand biogas use worldwide with the help of the knowledge we have acquired through the Association’s 25 years of work and to make a positive contribution to shaping the framework conditions in other countries.”