Investments: Even private investors can actively contribute to building the bioeconomy

Preface: Admittedly, the processes on the financial markets are and have been criticized and some even ask the question of whether they are necessary or at least how we can improve (regulate) them. Especially when discussing rising food prices faced biofuels (Tortilla crisis, 2007), but also speculation about food in the financial markets is the focus of criticism. A kind of public interest, which sustained shook the cornerstone of the entire bioenergy industry. It is also clear that an industry or a market can develop / improve above all if investments are made in the development of innovative technologies and products! As consumers, we should be aware that the solution to petroleum and the development of the bioeconomy will not be easy. After the failed (?) CHOREN attempt to build second generation biofuels However, interest in investing in modern bioenergy paths in Germany has dropped rapidly. For now.

Therefore, many thanks to Johannes Wiesner for his article, in which he presents the possibilities to strengthen the bioenergy sector with the help of targeted investments:

Photo financial markets and bioeconomy

Biomass also interesting from an investor's perspective

The energy transition also plays a major role in the financial markets. The developments in recent years are a clear indication of this. In the field of renewable energies, investors can find practically unlimited opportunities to implement their investment strategy, be it through certificates, individual securities or funds. It goes without saying that there are strong differences in terms of return and security. The complex nature of the financial sector is no exception when it comes to biomass and bioenergy.

Reasons for the popularity of investments in funds

The funds are probably the most widespread of all financial products in the bioenergy sector. This is in the nature of things, as funds have traditionally been able to offer a good balance between security, maturity, return and availability. The latter does not apply to closed funds, but these are all the more lucrative. Either way: Green profits (Article on bioenergy funds) are also attractive to investors for moral reasons, since they are based on an idealistic underlying. So a return of up to 10 percent is not the only reason.

A look at the details is necessary

When investing in eco-funds, a distinction must first be made between the different energy sources. After all, bioenergy, solar, water and wind power are represented very differently regionally, just like the efficiency of the technologies with which the energy is ultimately converted. For this reason, pages such as recommended. Topicality with regard to the fund providers and their key figures is essential in order to be able to correctly narrow down the products.

Overview of investments in financial markets in renewable energies

A growing industry

In the meantime, considerable research funds are flowing into the organic sector. This serves to improve existing technologies, but also to explore new options. This includes the biomass itself - in addition to the natural sources mentioned Garbage and straw considered, as was only requested by the EU last autumn. This primarily affects the delicate fuel market, for which the search for new energy suppliers is known to be all the more important.

Always stay critical

For investors, each of these steps means an even broader market. This has two advantages: On the one hand, the products can be selected in more detail, and the competition also ensures more attractive offers. However, not everything that glitters is gold here either. Above all from an ecological point of view: Many negative side effects are possible in the production of bioenergy: endangerment of biodiversity by monocultures, less food cultivation and large-scale environmental risks are only some of these points.

Keep your eyes open when choosing a provider

For long-term investment strategies in particular, it is important to select fund providers who can convince positively on these points. This problem is less pronounced with renewable energies such as wind and sun than with biomass products. This probably does not change the good image of bioenergy in general, but it shows that bio-financial products must be selected with the same care as other securities.

2 comments on “Investments: Even private investors can actively contribute to building the bioeconomy”

  1. Ladies and Gentlemen,

    They indicate the high number of biogas plants and the associated enormous masses of digestate to be discharged from them. Missing or inadequate legal regulations further exacerbate the problem. We underline this, but we still believe that tightening the relevant legal regulations will not create a short-term solution.
    No control, punishment or even switching off a biogas plant will ever achieve the desired result!

    Forward-looking technologies are required that prevent thousands of cubic meters of water from being driven onto the fields.
    In addition to the technologies, the economic use of the heat produced by the numerous biogas plants should be viewed as a central issue.
    In Lower Saxony and Schleswig Holstein in particular, there is a very high density of biogas plants, most of which leave the heat they produce unused.
    What should an energy transition do if biogas plants only produce heat for the environment? Up to 90% of all biogas plants have no heat utilization concept and up to 60% of the result is simply "thrown away" in the broadest sense.

    One approach to significantly reducing the volume of the manure mass produced is to dry it. Considerable incentives have long been created for this in the applicable energy feed-in law (EEG), however dryer technologies have not yet become established. Drying would result in significant volume reductions in the digestate and the simultaneous equipping of, for example, a digestate dryer with a qualified ammonia binding option, which would immediately relieve further uncontrolled output and the associated nitrate pollution of the groundwater.

    We, the company Mineralit GmbH from Laage (near Rostock) in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, have been producing various products from a highly wear-resistant material that is known in the trade as polymer concrete or mineral casting for almost 20 years. We have been covering our annual heat requirements from a company-owned biogas plant since 2007 and were confronted with the problem of digestate drying very early on.
    After years of development work, we made a drum dryer for digestate drying from the mineralite material and presented it as an innovation at this year's biogas innovation congress in Osnabrück.

    An example:

    With a very high evaporation capacity (≥ 1,4 l / kWh thermal output), the mineralite dryer is able to process the liquid fermentation residue with a solids content of approx. 5-11%, directly to a solids content of approx. 80 to 85% to dry. By adding a certain sulfate, the ammonia is mostly “bound” in the substrate during drying.
    What is the key advantage? By lowering the pH value of the dried substrate, the nitrates do not evaporate and are not washed out in the soil, but are only available when they reach the plant directly. In addition, the dryer is equipped with a dust protection, which ensures that the legal requirements for dust emissions are significantly undercut. In this way, the dryer also makes a significant contribution to reducing the environmental emissions of biogas plants that are common today.
    With our example we want to make it clear that short-term solutions can only be created through future-oriented technologies and the economical use of the heat produced by the biogas plants!

    In connection with the increasing need to dry digestate, we point out another problem:
    Cattle and pig manure or chicken and turkey manure are animal waste in the sense of the applicable legal regulations. This results on the one hand in the growing risk of spreading pathogens and on the other hand in the need for aseptic treatment.

    Another example:

    As Mineralit GmbH, we have also developed a hygienization system designed for the drum dryer concept. Since the sanitation system is switched before drying, it is absolutely guaranteed that hygienized digestate is already added to the drying process and that no pathogens can be released during the drying process.
    In summary, the mineralit drum dryer in combination with the mineralit hygienization process bring the following advantages:

    1. Significant volume reduction of fermentation residues.
    2. Cost-effective transportation of digestate to areas in need of nutrients
    3. Counteract the entry of nitrates in the groundwater by almost completely binding the ammonia in the digestate by adding iron III chloride sulfate.
    4. Reduction of the existing environmental emissions from biogas plants as a whole.
    5. Increase in income through the economic use of the heat produced by a biogas plant.
    6. Safe use of animal residues in biogas plants through the hygiene process.
    7. Prevent the release of pathogens from fermentation residues.

    Finally, we would like to use our examples to emphasize once again that only future-oriented technologies and the associated economic use of the heat produced by the biogas plants can create short-term solutions!

    More information about the universal drum dryer on our Website and on Youtube.

  2. Thank you for the comments on existing conflicts in biogas production in practical operation.

    Greater use of the heat produced is one of the most important goals in order to further improve the carbon footprint and energy efficiency of biogas plants. The legislator supports this development through the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) 2012, in which a binding use of heat of at least 60 percent is prescribed for new systems.

    The advances in CHP development also mean that excess heat is partly converted into electricity or cooling (heat exchangers).

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