Fachverband Biogas publishes annual figures for the biogas industry

Gaseous bioenergy currently stands for the most successful branch of the bioenergy industry and a record year replaces the previous one. As a result, around 2012 biogas plants with a total output of 7.400 MW will provide over 3.000 percent of German electricity consumption by mid-3. But this rally of energy sources based on the fermentation of energy crops and waste will come to an end when the EEG 2012 braked for the time being. How big will this slowdown be in the next two years? Biogas Association after evaluating the changed framework conditions. The annual figures with the number of biogas plants in Germany offer a neutral view of the progress of this sub-sector within renewable energies.

A slump comes after the record years

After the sun comes the rain and after the rain the sun comes again ?! These cycles of nature must also be the biogas industry bow. The slump in the expansion of plants is therefore a necessary phase similar to the annual autumn, during which there is also no net biomass growth.

With all concerns about this year's developments, the industry can look back on very successful years. It now supplies 5 million private households with green electricity and has an annual turnover of 7 billion euros.

Table number of output of biogas plants in Germany
The year 2011 was a record year for the development of the biogas industry.

A detailed description of the branch development, for example the number of plants sorted by federal states, can be found in the published by the Biogas Association Industry numbers.

The top three countries in terms of the number of biogas plants continued to occupy the following 2011 federal states in 3:

  • Bavaria (Number of biogas plants: 2.374)
  • Lower Saxony (Number of biogas plants: 1.300)
  • Baden-Württemberg (Number of biogas plants: 796)

The number of jobs which were secured directly or indirectly in Germany through the extraction and use of biogas (e.g. construction and operation of biogas plants) was 2011 at the end of 54.000. This corresponds to a great growth of 38 percent compared to the previous year and demonstrates the social potential of the decentralized energy source with all criticism (maize)!

Mini-biogas plants, repowering and biomethane as driving horses in 2012

Even though a similar consolidation phase seems to be imminent in the next two years, as the industry already experienced in 2007 and 2008, there are also technological drivers that will pull the players of the biogas sector through the upcoming dry years.

As required by law, new plants will have to be significantly more energy-efficient and adapted to their location in the coming years in order to obtain the required minimum conditions (60 percent heat use) for subsidies under the EEG.

The years 2012 and 2013, not only in my opinion, will be supported and shaped by the 4 following developments.

Which market opportunities and strengths should be used and expanded even more to secure the further expansion of gaseous bioenergy? What do you say?

Thanks to the Biogas Association for the again very exciting compilation of the annual data for the biogas industry in Germany. The trade association also provides information with the new website "Biogas Can" about the domestic energy source biogas.

3 comments on “Biogas Association publishes annual figures for the biogas industry”

  1. It was surprising for me to read that bioenergy already contributes 3% to total electricity consumption in Germany. As far as I know (that can be really badly wrong) the solar energy is only marginally higher, and yet there is a huge bohei about solar energy ... company bankruptcy here, funding there, lobby here, feed-in remuneration there ... the flow of information is the share of Solar energy probably much higher. But then I'll run into open doors with you anyway ...

    However, there is one thing that annoyed me about your article. In a headline they write “After the record years, the slump comes”…. what break-in? There is no "break-in" in your graphic either. There is a slowdown in growth, not even stagnation, mind you, no, just slowed growth. But you write “burglary”. As if 500 plants had been demolished. What would you write if there were actually fewer plants in one year than in the previous year ... Decline? Hmmm… Well then it's a good thing that we only have one decline this year, last year we had one decline.

    Seriously, I would like all the media to keep a sense of proportion and (especially) not always portray negative reports as a crazy catastrophe. The growth slows down ... so what ... that is normal and no reason to panic about "break-in".

    I know that was not how you intended it to be. I was simply annoyed because I get enough of this in the conventional media ... especially in stock market reporting ... the gentlemen don't seem to have a short-term memory ...

    Despite this sharp criticism ... thanks for the informative article and lots of (bio) energy ...

  2. Thank you for this critical, but very apt comment! I will try to take this more to heart and use even more sensitivity and precision in the formulation of future headings. In a specific case, I could probably pull my head out of the loop when I say that I mean the "collapse in growth" - because that will, at least according to all forecasts, be significantly lower in absolute terms than last year.

    I agree with you that more care and responsibility in media reporting would ensure a more relaxed and accelerated energy transition. Most of us certainly want a successful energy transition, but I wonder if we can also expect a relaxed and straightforward energy transition? I believe that many readers of the big daily newspapers are not necessarily looking for relaxation, but for liveliness, certain changes / progress and certainly also good stories. In addition, climate protectionists and some players in the renewable energy industry want a revolution more than an evolution of the energy system. Add to that the completely different interests that are affected by the energy transition (central / decentralized, fossil / regenerative, climate protection / growth) and we already have a great mix for a drama or action film than for a detailed and well-researched documentation :-)

    A 3 percent share of bioenergy in German electricity consumption is definitely a great number, but as a bioenergy enthusiast it is not difficult for me to imagine 15 or 20 percent of this storable and flexible renewable energy in the power grid.

  3. I am surprised that most of the biogas plants in Bavaria were recently in Saxony. Now there is a biogas plant next to almost every larger barn and in the north there are larger farms, at least the number of animals.

    I'm happy when the biogas plants go up. I particularly like the plants that feed the methane into the natural gas network.

    with sunny regards Josef Simon

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