Members of the Bundestag present their bioenergy vision

As in previous years, the Bundesverband Bioenergie eV again this year parliamentary evening arranged to feel the plans of federal politics on the tooth. Representatives of all 5 parties came to the evening event in the Hungarian embassy and presented their view of gaseous, liquid and solid bioenergy. The question of the evening was: What visions do the Bundestag parties have for the use of bioenergy in the electricity, heating and fuel markets? A small series of articles explains what there is to report on the meeting of federal politics with the bioenergy sector? We start with bioenergy in the electricity market.

Photo bullfighting for the electricity market

 5 matadors grapple with the essence of bioenergy

Since the Bundestag election is due in 4 months, the character of the traditional event was even more of an election campaign event than one is used to from the meeting of representatives of the people anyway. I think it's a good thing, because bioenergy can currently use every passionate commitment! Secondly, it was a very fair campaign, which has largely served the bioenergy debate. While I was last parliamentary evening on bioenergy somewhat disappointed by the often very careful comments (Exception: Hans-Josef Fell!) the member of the Bundestag, my impression of this year makes me much more optimistic.

"Without bioenergy we would have a share of 4.8 percent of renewable energies in final energy consumption in Germany and with it we have 12.3 percent."

Helmut Lamp, CEO of the BBE

The following 5 members of the Bundestag were present this year and expressed their opinion on bioenergy in the electricity market:

  • dr Georg Nuesslein, CSU | Diplomkaufmann | Directly elected in the Neu-Ulm constituency
  • Committee on the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety; Committee on Economy and Technology; Parliamentary Advisory Board for Sustainable Development
  • Michael Kauch, FDP | Graduate economist Selected from the state list of North Rhine-Westphalia
  • Parliamentary Advisory Council on Sustainable Development (chairman); Committee on the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety
  • Dirk Becker, SPD | Diplom-Verwaltungswirt | Directly elected in the Lippe 1 constituency
  • Committee on the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety; Committee on Economy and Technology
  • Hans-Josef Fell, Alliance 90 / The Greens | High school teacher | Selected from the state list of Bavaria
  • Committee on the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety; Education, Research and Technology Assessment Committee
  • Ralph Lenkert, The Left | Toolmaker, State Certified Technician for Mechanical Engineering | Directly elected in the Gera constituency
  • Parliamentary Advisory Board for Sustainable Development; Committee on the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Committee on Family, Seniors, Women and Youth

During the 10 minute presentations by the deputies, the three areas of application of bioenergy (electricity market, fuel market, heating market) and the respective bioenergy sources were discussed. In this article, the focus is on the Use of biogas and biomethane in the electricity market.

Electricity market Gaseous bioenergy Biogas and biomethane

"An amendment to the EEG may only be created in combination with a new market design"

Dirk Becker, SPD

Ever since vegetable oil was removed from the EEG 2012, the topic of bioenergy in the electricity market has focused on gaseous bioenergy and its bioenergy carriers biogas and biomethane. But also the Co-combustion of solid biomass in biomass cogeneration plants (BMHKW) contributes to the electrical use of bioenergy.

The central instrument and the basis for the success story of bioenergy in the electricity sector is Funding via the EEG. The Renewable Energy Sources Act emerged in 2000 from the Electricity Feed Act, which was passed in 1991 by the black and yellow government under Helmut Kohl. In the exciting Zeit article "That underestimated law“(September 2006) summarizes the political origins of the promotion of renewable energies in Germany.

Even 13 years after the EEG came into force, the development of bioenergy in the electricity market is still closely linked to the law. There is now a strong alternative in the form ofDirect marketing of biogas electricity, but the majority of the existing systems still live on the feed-in tariff via the EEG.

"Attack on existing systems was the fall of man and hangs like a sword of Damocles over the entire renewable energy industry"

Hans-Josef Fell, Alliance 90 / The Greens

At the latest since Electricity price brake, which was primarily a bioenergy brake for Mr. Lamp, the industry knows that it also has to look for alternatives to the EEG. For many plant operators, the culmination of the debate on the electricity price brake was the suggestion that funding for existing plants could also be reduced. Fortunately, this topic is off the table, which is thanks to the representatives of the people thanks to the commitment of the CSU and FDP.

Most Wanted: New market design for the electricity market

The parliamentary evening showed that the parties in the Bundestag are also looking for the most sustainable way to promote bioenergy in the electricity market. For some months now, a new market design for the electricity market has been discussed more and more intensively.

"A market launch instrument must become a market penetration instrument."

dr Georg Nuesslein, CSU

A statement on the new market design came from Dr. Nüsslein, who supports the introduction of a power market for electricity. In his limited speaking time, he did not become more specific for the time being. However, the CSU representative said critically: "If you put on the market and the market then delivers a result that does not suit you, then you cannot simply want to correct the market." Michael Kauch from the FDP said that he Incentive models preferred on the demand side.

Approaches for possible and currently discussed market designs for the electricity market (capacity markets, performance markets etc.) will be further developed and analyzed over the summer. The results of this debate and their effects on the bioenergy industry will also be read on BiomassMuse.

However, several representatives of the people also suggested that bioenergy should not only focus on the electricity market, but also include the heating and mobility sector. This suggestion is old hat for bioenergy enthusiasts and is already like an industry mantra that has been stoically repeated for years. Nevertheless, it remains an important development proposal, which must now be followed by concrete political measures.

Bioenergy in Hungary

Finally, a few words about bioenergy in Hungary. After all, it was Hungarian embassythe location of this year's parliamentary evening on bioenergy and special thanks therefore go to the Republic of Hungary.

According to the statements by the Hungarian State Secretary János Bencsik, Hungary has only a few fossil fuels. Two thirds of Hungarian electricity needs are covered by electricity imports. Therefore I want to Hungary using renewable energies take a pioneering role. In 2011, the country set itself the goal of covering 2020 percent of gross energy consumption by renewable energies by 14.7. The share of renewables in total energy consumption is currently around 9 percent.

The status quo of bioenergy in Hungary is as follows:

  • 11 biomass CHP plants with 281 MM
  • 31 biogas plants with 31 MW (18 further biogas plants are under construction)
  • 14 landfill gas plants with 8.5 MW
  • 8 sewage gas plants with a capacity of 11 MW

Bioenergy in the fuel and heating markets

The series of articles on the occasion of the parliamentary evening on bioenergy will continue in the coming days. The topics are then:

  • Bioenergy in the fuel market
  • Bioenergy in the heating market

In conclusion to the first article, the question remains: What do you think about the potentials and risks that bioenergy is facing in the electricity market?

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