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Janka Clauder from the german Federal Ministry for the Environment welcomed the participants on behalf of the SPIN project.

Technology and innovation trends in the biogas sector

Presentation - Jan Postel, German Biomass Research Centre (DBFZ)
The DBFZ is a non-profit company founded in 2008 by the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV). Activities of this centre cover consultation for private and public institutions, policy assessment for federal ministries, feasibility studies in the field of bioenergy plants.

State of the Biogas production and use in Germany connected with reliability and efficiency
The Biogas production in Germany has continuously grown since 2000. In the year 2009 there were about 4300 plants in the country. 86% of them use a wet fermentation system and the rest use high solids fermentation (please see graph in the right columm). The most used input substrate to these plants is excrements (43%), followed by the energy crops (41%, 78% of which are corn). About 50% of the plants do not have measurements and control equipments. These control systems are important to increase the efficiency and safety of the Biogas systems.

Problematic issues of R&D - How to explore the potentials most efficient?
DBFZ has developed a study for more efficient and environmentally friendly potential excavation. Please see figure in the right columm.
Expectations for the future development (2020)
It is expected that the sector in Germany develops in the following direction:
  • Relevant changes on the average plant size are not expected for decentral plants and a small increase towards 1000m3/h bio methane is expected for injection plants
  • The increase of the pre-treatment of the substrate feed is envisaged in order to increase the degradation speeds
  • In the feed with energy crops a decrease of the corn silage share and an increase of the other shares like grass silage and sugar beet are expected
  • By the fermentation technologies no big changes are expected. Though they should evolve in order to suit the substrate
  • The biogas yield will increase approximately by 10%
  • The demand of own heat and electricity will slightly decrease
  • In terms of electrical efficiencies no technologic changes are expected, for Combined Heat and Power Units (CHP) a 2% increase is expected
  • The full load hours will increase from 8000 to 8300 h/a
  • The methane losses in biogas plants will decrease by about 1,5%
Please see attached presentation for further information on the German Biogas sector.

Estonian experiences of SMEs introducing biogas technologies

Presentation Ahto Oja, Estonian Biogas Association
Biogas resource inputs – potential and reality
The theoretical Estonian biogas potential is 544 million Nm3/a, the feasible potential is 286 million Nm3/a (5-8% of the total electricity consumption). In 2007 only about 11 million Nm3/a of Biogas were produced. In this year the use of biogas for energy production represented only 0,16% of the total heat energy produced and 0,14% of the total electricity consumption.
The following graph represents the proportions of sources for the production of Biogas in Estonia.
Setting for Estonian Biogas Sector
At the moment the production of Biogas is not profitable in Estonia. However there are several reasons to develop this sector such as improved organic waste management, nature protection and landscape management, regional, rural, socio-economic and SME development as well as technology and knowledge transfer, R&D. The current legal and social circumstances do not support the development of the biogas sector in Estonia. The political-legislative framework is not sufficiently developed to make biogas projects a business case. The feed-in-tariff is of 7€c/kWhel and the government wants to even further reduce it. Feasibility studies indicate that this tariff should be at least of 13€c/kWhel to be economically viable. The low feed-in-tariff brought entrepreneurs and developers to stop their efforts in this area. The creation of a strategic vision, legislative framework and financial support system is essential for the development of the Biogas sector.

For more information on the Estonian Biogas Sector, please see attached presentation.

German SME example: planning, financing and implementation of biogas projects

Presentation Andreas Abdessemed, AAP Project Management Renewable Energies
Andreas Abdessemed presented the legal framework, the financing systems for Biogas plants and the process of implementation of a standard biogas project in Germany. He also has presented an innovative project, in which the biogenic waste from the North See coast (like seewead or algae) is used for the production of Biogas. For more information please see attached presentation.

Polish perspective on policy trends and challenges in biogas

Presentation Magdalena Rogulska, Institute for Fuels and Renewable Energy
(presentation given by Wlodzimierz A. Sokol due to unavailability of Magdalena Rogulska)

The Polish Ministry of the Economy is responsible for implementing at the national level the European Renewable Energy Directive. By the end of the year the Renewable Energy Act, the National Renewable Energy Action Plan (2nd version), the amendments of the Biofuel Act and the Long-term Program for Biofuels Promotion in year 2008-2014 will be available.
Renewable energy sources (RES), including biogas, are one priority of the Polish energy policy. By 2020 the RES share in final energy consumption should raise to 15%. There is a considerable potential for biogas production from agriculture in Poland. A national programme for development of biogas production was elaborated. At the same time the overexploitation of forests and arable soil for production of biogas should be avoided in this process: Biogas production should not compete with food production.
Please see in the attached presentation the Polish activities to support RES development:

The Biogas production in Poland
At the moment 160 biogas plants exist. Most of them produce electricity and heat, some only heat.
The potential for production of biogas is not being fully used. 1759 industrial wastewater plants exist in Poland, only 46 of them were producing biogas in 2009. Only 100 of 700 landfills use the landfill gas emissions.
The interest in agricultural biogas is growing; dozens of projects are being developed at the moment.
The following graphs illustrate the Biogas Technical Potential.
The energy law was amended in 2009 in order to take biogas into account. Please see the amendment in the attached presentation.

The biogas sector in the Baltic Sea Region - current status and future challenges

Presentation Rita Ramanauskaite, European Biogas Association
The European Biogas Association with offices in Brussels is a non-profit association covering 18 countries in Europe. It  lobbies for sustainable biogas production in Europe.

Biogas has not only environmental advantages but also socio-economic ones like the creation of employment in rural areas.

The following graph illustrates the primary energy production of biogas in Europe.
Several developments are taking place in the Biogas sector including the National Renewable Energy Action Plans. There are 23 plans published and 4 to be submitted. Please find more information on the following link:

Biogas in the Baltic Sea Region
The feed-in tariffs are very different from country to country, this leads to big differences in the market potential (for instance in Latvia the feed-in tariffs are much higher than in the neighboring Estonia: 19,8 cents/kWh compared to 7,3 cents/kWh). Green certificates exist in Poland and Sweden. The agriculture sector of the region has potential for the production of biogas.

Barriers for more biogas plants:
  • Lack of statistical data,
  • Lack of biogas technologies, technology producers and experts,
  • Connection to the electricity grids
  • Energy prices are lower as in the rest of EU
  • Availability of funds or difficult application procedure
  • Gap between potential biogas producers and biogas project developers, investors
  • Legal and administrative barriers
  • Development of roadmap or guide for permit procedure is needed
  • Continuous, targeted, well-considered and well-planned state support for biogas projects
  • A long-term policy framework for biogas use
  • Promoting the awareness on biogas in all levels

The EU funding mechanisms are very complex. They are more targeted at strategic investors rather than at farmers or SMEs.

The Biogas potential is not fully used. The average increase of the biogas share in the renewable energy mix is below the average increase of other renewable energy sources. Changes are needed in order to reach the renewable energy targets.

For more information, please see attached presentation.