Topic brief: arguments beyond economic factors

Date: 23 February 2018                     Coordinator of the exchange session: IBBK, Michael Köttner


The following topic brief summarizes discussions held during an EU level exchange sessions (T4.1) among BiogasAction project partners. It aims at providing the main outcomes of the discussions. Each topic brief focuses on one specific development topic for biogas in Europe. Topic briefs can be downloaded at http://biogasaction.eu/downloads

What is the topic about?

Biogas support policies are fast changing and feed-in tariffs are either being reduced or cancelled, leading to new economic conditions for biogas. Biogas plants need to revise their strategies to overcome this change and develop new business models addressing new applications, societal and environmental challenges.

What is at stake?

Several new opportunities are being considered to further support the development of biogas:

  • Regional distribution (green labels, regional incentives for environmental friendly approaches in Germany)
  • Marketing through direct grid connection and distribution (electricity and gas produced and sold directly to local customers: new regulations)
  • Fertilizer business (alternative to spreading on the fields, producing organic fertilisers)
  • Flexible production of electricity (production when high price of electricity through biogas storage)
  • Gas use from slurry and digestate storages (covering digestate storages)
  • Gate fee tariff (waste plants)
  • Improve political acceptance (reduce GHG emissions, energy independence, diversification and energy mix, rural development)
  • Indirect value (improved quality of liquid manure and avoidance of contamination of the ground and surface waters)
  • Biogas upgrading (selling gas, biomethane injected into the grid, biomethane as vehicule fuel)

Partners experiences:

Experience in Germany – Fertilizer business:

Experience in France – Gas use from slurry and digestate storage

Experience in the UK – Gate fee tariff

Experience in FR – Biogas upgrading

Key findings and lessons learnt:

  • The biogas situation is changing due to the new national legislations (less electricity support)
  • Energy crops are becoming less economically feasible
  • The focus will be on:
    • Different ways of marketing the AD products biogas and digestates
    • Flexible production of electricity: the AD system is the only renewable solution to the flexibility issue of renewable energies
    • Biomethane as a biofuel for transportation
    • AD technology as solution for manure and biowaste treatment

Download the Topic brief here (PDF version).