A press release from Fachverband Biogas e. V. from 14.11. 2012.
"The current industry development is very sobering." With these words, the President of the Biogas Association, Josef Pellmeyer, commented on the industry figures presented during the association's press conference on the Eurotier / BioEnergy Decentral 2012. After the boom in 2011, the biogas industry saw a significant decline in plant engineering this year. On the basis of initial surveys from various federal states and a current company survey, the Biogas Association has to correct the number forecast in May from 300 to 268 new plants for the current year. Together with plant expansions (repowering), the association expects an increase in installed electrical output of 182 megawatts (MW). Compared to 2011, the expansion in output drops by around 70 percent and in new systems by almost 80 percent. For many companies, the market slump has so far been compensated for by the overhang from 2011. The spokesman for the company advisory board, Hendrik Becker, expects major problems in 2013. “The order situation is catastrophic. Some established companies will be able to partially compensate for the decline in domestic demand by expanding their export business, ”says Becker. What is currently making the German market reasonably profitable are the plant expansions. Becker expects the number of employees to decrease by 25 percent.
The trade association for biogas sees the reasons for the market slump in many ways. "The amended Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG 2012) harmed the biogas industry rather than giving it new impetus, ”Pellmeyer regrets. The newly introduced performance class from Mini biogas plants Up to 75 kilowatts have so far not been able to meet expectations. Likewise, the legal improvement has little Biomethane plants brought a noticeable turnaround in this market towards more biomethane feed into the natural gas network. In addition, there were numerous approval and safety requirements that make the construction of new plants increasingly unprofitable.
The currently rising substrate prices also make projects uneconomical. The often irrelevant discussion of biogas critics also has a negative impact. "This is where arguments come into play that lack any basis," complains Pellmeyer.
The association president is certain that biogas is the central solution for the energy transition. In interaction with wind and sun, biogas plays a unique role: as a storable renewable energy source, biogas can be used to generate electricity when there is no wind and the sun is not shining. This balancing function of biogas is becoming more and more important in the context of network system services with the increasing proportions of fluctuating electricity generation.
As part of the “Bavaria Plan” brought into play by the Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer, the Free State is currently examining the extent to which the nuclear power plants that have been shut down by 2022 can be replaced by biogas plants. A plan that, if the test result is positive, can be safely transferred to the whole of Germany. "Biogas has enormous potential - especially that for grid system security and stability - and must now be raised by setting the appropriate course," warns Pellmeyer.
The new industry figures of the Fachverband Biogas e. V. can be downloaded as a PDF from the association's website. In the document on Development of the biogas industry a breakdown by number of plants and electrical power of the federal states is also included.