This is a headline that I would like to read more frequently in the press and in the bioenergy trade magazines in the coming years. Biomethane projects help to ensure that gaseous bioenergy can put its contact with energy consumers on a much broader basis and that a green shade is continuously added to the natural gas network. Unfortunately, the golden compass for successful biomethane feed-in projects has not yet been found. Solid navigation devices would actually be worth gold in the storm of the energy transition, which is currently disrupting our traditional energy supply. Let us work together to overcome the obstacles in order to improve the funding situation for the EEG 2012 biomethane to use and accelerate the breakthrough of the most flexible of all bioenergy sources.
Natural gas network enables transportation of biomethane and green gas
I'll probably make it in the 10 articles of the little ones Bioenergy campaign not to keep the light marketing tone out of my writing style. But I am a bioenergy enthusiast and I am convinced that an improved biomethane infrastructure will be the next milestone to secure the expansion of bioenergy and to advance European networking.
The one that came into force at the beginning of the year EEG novella 2012 in addition to the legally supported size classes for biogas plants (keyword: Mini biogas plant) also put the biomethane market on a new footing. Not only has the amount of support for the feed-in tariff been increased (!), But the total Compensation structure customized. The following framework conditions for biomethane have changed:
- The level of remuneration is tied to new input material classes (ESK 0, ESK I, ESK II).
- The use of ecologically advantageous feedstocks such as liquid manure or landscape maintenance material is most strongly promoted in ESK II.
- From 2012, new biomethane feed-in plants will have to use a mass balance system, which in the form of the Germany's biogas register was realized. Existing plants will only have to use the biogas register founded in 2010 from 2013.
- Biomethane processing has been carried out since January 1, up to a nominal output of 700 m3 Biomethane / h funded at 3 cents per kilowatt hour. The maximum feed-in power for which the highest subsidy rate is paid has thus been doubled.
- Until 1.000 m3 Biomethane / h, a remuneration of 2 cents / kWh is paid. Up to a nominal output of 1.400 m3 The plant operator receives 1 cent / kWh of biomethane / h.
For the exact calculation of the remuneration amounts according to EEG 2012 you can also use the specially designed one Biomethane calculator of the German Biomass Research Center (DBFZ). Here you will also find an article on Introduction of the biogas register.
The green has to be the horror - biomethane is looking for its way into the natural gas network
Admittedly, playing with the colors and the green label of renewable energies goes a bit far in the marketing of some providers of green electricity and green gas. The procedure, which is often criticized as “greenwashing”, is an easily comprehensible but not very sustainable method for marketing regenerative energy products. Fortunately, this is still limited with biomethane and we should make sure that we do not artificially inflate its reputation with unrealistically radiant advertising slogans ("claims") to save the world. This flexible energy source does not need that at all.
An interesting article on greenwashing is recently in the Algae Observer appeared.
From a chemical point of view, biomethane is identical to fossil methane and it is not possible to distinguish between the two without knowing the origin. Apart from the fact that a slightly greenish shimmering biomethane would certainly be a gift for the branding of biomethane products, this equality (compatibility) of biomethane and natural gas is also good news, as it allows the problem-free feeding of biomethane into the existing natural gas infrastructure!
Biomethane is a green gas and can therefore be advertised as particularly "green" because it achieves high levels of CO2 reduction compared to fossil natural gas and in this way contributes directly to climate protection. One as "Green gas“The gas product sold must even guarantee that it is CO2 neutral.
In order to make the use of gaseous bioenergy even more efficient and broad, the processing of the already established biogas to biomethane is a great option. This is fed into the natural gas network and can then be turned into electricity at the location where the demand for the heat generated is as high as possible. The overall energy efficiency of this usage path is significantly higher than with pure electricity generation from biogas without a correspondingly comprehensive heat usage concept.
If the processing and feeding of biomethane is not a viable option for you, you will find 12 suggestions for improving the Heat utilization concept of your biogas plant.
Obstacles to the feed-in of biomethane must be overcome
Despite the ecological and economic potential, the worldwide feed of biomethane is still in its infancy and sees itself with a multitude of obstacles to be overcome faced. There are currently only around 70 plants in Germany that feed in biomethane.
The installation of a processing plant and the connection to the natural gas network is a complex project, but can quickly pay off in large biogas plants from 1.500 kW. A Interview with Reinhard Schultz, Managing Director of the Biogasrat eV, clearly shows that the large biogas associations firmly believe in the potential of biomethane for Germany and Europe and work together for this energy source.
For operators of biogas plants, the generation and feed-in of biomethane is an interesting alternative that should be checked individually. For example, the Haase Energietechnik GmbH a technological pioneer in the field of biomethane processing.
Unfortunately, this company is also an example of the fact that technological market leadership alone is not a guarantee for business success, as this very workhorse of biomethane technology had to file for bankruptcy two weeks ago. According to the company, this step was necessary in order to respond to short-term financing problems that arose as a result of the conversion to the framework conditions of the EEG 2.
However, the past has shown that innovative bioenergy technologies can also survive a phase of business insolvency. Here I think primarily of the Bankruptcies of Choren Industries and Schmack Biogas GmbH. I hope that Haase Energietechnik GmbH can quickly overcome their current problems. Your know-how in the field of biomethane is certainly a good basis for this.
I am confident that in the next 3 years we will see a significant increase in biogas plants in Germany, which successfully integrate the feed-in of biomethane.
Even if the heading of this article initially promised more than the biomethane landscape can offer at the moment, I hope to be able to read this heading at ever shorter intervals in the future. The compass doesn't have to be “golden” right away. In the first step, it is sufficient if it works and shows the biomethane industry a successful path through the energy transition.
Do you know the plants in your area that have already started feeding biomethane? I am grateful for a short feedback.