Biogas prevents 20 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year

The German Biogas Association publishes industry figures for 2016 for the German sector.

immagineFreising: Industry figures, as published by the German Biogas Association, displayed that last year 205 new biogas plants were introduced to the grid. This figure provided a substantial increase on the 150 previously predicted by the Association, ten plants, however, were shut down. In total, German plants provide a capacity of 45 megawatts (MW), of which 35 MW are actually used to generate electricity and eight MW are for the flexible production of electricity. Altogether, the growth of new plants in Germany remains very low in comparison with previous years. Fortunately, many operators are investing to give their plants more flexibility. Horst Seide, president of the Biogas Association, explains that these investments, in addition to exports, are currently funding the survival of plant construction sector.

Figures published as recently as this week, by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, suggest that the federal government will not meet the climate objectives set for 2020. The president of the Biogas Association points to the climate-related performance of biogas plants, stating that biogas plants prevent 20 million tonnes of CO2 emission annually. 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. This point of view has has received a boost through the reciprocation of Chancellor Angela Merkel who argues that we should be doing everything we can to meet the climate objectives. Measures for the future must be priority and continue to be post the parliamentary elections. Merkel goes on to further highlight the pertinence of specifying a clear path to preventing CO2 emissions by using biogas.

Horst Seide outlines that investments in the increased flexibility of plants, are reflected in the construction of additional capacity in existing plants. Many German plant operators are working towards flexibility and are upgrading their existing plants with additional investments in gas tank capacity and CHP output. Altogether, existing plants installed an additional, extra capacity of 175 MW in 2016.

The Biogas Association is predicting a slight decrease of new plant construction in Germany for 2017. 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. The increased flexibility of existing plants has resulted in a predicted expansion in capacity of about 239 MW. Together with the new plants, this yields a new installed capacity of 260 MW.

This would signify, that by the end of this year, biogas capacity of roughly 4,500 MW will be available in Germany. Together, these plants generate an estimated 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’ potential as an energy source, 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, either for the short term in biogas plants or for the long term as biomethane in the gas grid. Biomethane is a proven climate friendly fuel which strengthens agriculture and biodiversity.The outlined benefits of biogas are clear, and as such, these sentiments are echoed by Seide, who hopes that the continued advancement of biogas is endorsed by the federal government.

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.VV. Facherband 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.

Contact: Fachverband Biogas e.V., Andrea Horbelt; Tel. 0049- 8262/ 984663; Mail:


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