Bioenergy in the fuel market: Members of the Bundestag take a stand

The first article in the current article series on the Parliamentary Evening dealt with the use of the Bioenergy in the electricity market. In this article you will also find more information on the members of the Bundestag who presented their vision of bioenergy at the event. Since the greatest potential for the energetic use of biomass in Germany can now be found in the heat and fuel market, both areas of application should also be briefly presented. Part 2 of the article series is about Problem child of bioenergywhich is definitely the fuel market. Contrary to the general trend of the energy transition, the numbers of the renewable fuel market are even declining. Why is that and what solutions for Biofuels the Bundestag deputies offer, you can find out in the article.

Bioenergy in the fuel market development

Fuel market Liquid bioenergy Biofuels

Themes like Tank-or-plate, Deforestation or ILUC the minefields within the bioenergy debate are tricky and very explosive. These arguments stand for the decline of the highly acclaimed industry in recent years. The complex topics require a deep study of the facts until you get from the first very emotional (hysterical?) Attitude to a differentiated and constructive handling of the justified allegations. It may sound arrogant, but it is true. At least it was like that for me and the experience of MP Michael Kauch (FDP) also seems to confirm this maturing process, which is so problematic for the industry:

"When you talk about bioenergy, many of the colleagues in the Bundestag, especially those who do not deal with the topic of bioenergy, are very quick when it comes to arguments like tank or plate and rainforest deforestation."

Michael Kauch, FDP

Bioenergy and especially liquid bioenergy (the fuel market) have a deep image problem and without campaigning for more acceptance among the population there will be no future for bio fuel in Germany. Regardless of whether bioethanol & Biodiesel From an ecological, economic and social point of view, the only real alternative to petroleum-based fuels that we have in the medium term!

Image campaign for the renewable fuel market

The Bundestag deputies see the cause of the image problem in the mostly critical media reports Agrofuels brought (rainforest deforestation, hunger, monocultures etc.). That the arguments of the contributions are often very superficial and above all the potential of Next generation biofuels and systems forSustainability certification for biomass completely omitted, can be interpreted differently. The high complexity of the topic of bioenergy, marketing errors in the bioenergy sector itself or paid image campaigns by competing interest groups are possible causes of the difficult status quo.

"The expansion of the biofuels is still in its infancy, but the further expansion path is already very mined."

Dirk Becker, SPD

The buck is pushed further and further and nobody wants to take responsibility for the problematic situation of the fuel market. In any case, one cannot blame the members of the Bundestag for being more reluctant to talk about bio-fuel. A member of the Bundestag should represent the opinion of his constituents and that is exactly what he / she does if he / she keeps himself covered when expanding liquid bioenergy.

It is just as difficult to just pass the buck on the bioenergy industry, which has taken great financial risks to build a real alternative to petroleum-based fuels. And the associations have recognized the image problem and the BBE is working on an education campaign to put biofuels back in a more neutral and less creepy light more market when using biofuels, the perception of the end consumer (Consumers) from the biofuel manufacturers (producers) be taken even more seriously. The interest of drivers is unfortunately not given alternative energy sources with such an idealistic basic setting.

The Biogasrat + eV has recently had a large one Biomethane education campaign carried out in the Spiegel magazine. Spiegel-Online has long been the least differentiated magazine for me (see article Bioenergy at Spiegel Online) when it came to reporting on biofuels. After all, more neutral reporting would be the first important success that an awareness campaign can achieve.

"We need a market incentive program for the use of biofuels in agriculture and forestry."

Helmut Lamp, BBE

The focus on very specialized submarkets is a very pragmatic approach to the current image of bio fuel. Especially when you consider that the BBE's longstanding campaign to continue the tax relief in the entire bio-fuel market has so far been unsuccessful. Michael Kauch suggests that he considers the incentive for a more medium-sized market to be promising. And Hans-Josef Fell (Alliance 90 / The Greens) and Georg Nüsslein (Christian Social Union) are convinced that the use of alternative energy crops and substrates must be promoted in order to regain acceptance for biofuels.

"A stronger focus on research and development is the key to advancing bioenergy from algae and microorganisms."

Hans-Josef Fell, Alliance 90 / The Greens

So there are some approaches to get bioenergy back on track in the fuel market. For concrete measures, however, we will probably have to wait until after the general election.

What is your opinion on biofuels? Rather be one of them Pessimists or optimists regarding the use of bio-fuel in the fuel market?

3 comments on “Bioenergy in the fuel market: Members of the Bundestag take a stand”

  1. Peter Salomon

    We will not get around sooner or later to say goodbye to fuels from fossil fuels. Electromobility is also not the only magic word - it will become more and more relevant for inner-city passenger transport, but even long-distance battery concepts (chemical energy storage) will not bring the solution, especially for the still growing truck traffic.
    However, biodiesel could not be used on a food-competing basis - ie no corn cultivation or the like. - be the solution to the problem.
    Currently, despite an EU-wide project, CO2 emissions are constantly being increased due to the combustion of fossil fuels. We urgently need to get away from this and move to a CO2 circular economy.

    In http://www.biomasse-nutzung.de/energie-algen/ I had shown a way to do this - unfortunately with little response so far.
    Let us create a completely new industry - and it will take a steep rise similar to that of photovoltaics back then - I am convinced of that!

    Greetings from Berlin

    Peter Salomon

  2. Thank you very much Mr. Salomon for your critical comment on the renewable fuel market. I am pleased that you share a passion for bioenergy and start an initiative for the algae industry. Keyword algae energy and photovoltaics: What experience from the development of the PV market can be used to develop an algae industry? Technically, there are certainly some concepts how algae cultivation (photobioreactor) and photovoltaics can be combined.

    And you already know the European algae project EnAlgae? Between 2011 and 2015, the EU Commission funded this overall project, consisting of 19 sub-projects, in which 7 European countries work together.

    Sunny evening.

  3. Christine Denck

    Did you know that land prices have risen immeasurably in Germany, not least because of the cultivation of energy crops.
    Unfortunately, this means that many young farmers can no longer afford to lease fields to practice sustainable agriculture.
    Soil in Germany has become an object of speculation and is now also preferred for foreign buyers.
    That can't be the point!

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