The German Biogas Association calls for immediate action at Agritechnica
During a press conference held at the Agritechnica Trade Fair in Hannover, Horst Seide, President of the German Biogas Association recalled the disappointing figures for 2013with only 205 new installations of which almost half are below 75kW this year in Germany. The governmental working group on the revision of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) has recently proposed focusing solely on biomass from waste and residues which is deemed unacceptable by Seide. Instead, to restore momentum within the German biogas industry he explains that support to crop-based biogas is necessary not only for current installations but also for the development of alternative crops.
In terms of jobs, they almost halved since 2011 and the Association estimates a total of 40,000 jobs in the biogas sector in 2013. To face a deteriorated environment at home, German biogas companies have dramatically increased exports which now meet roughly half their turnover.
However, this situation is not sustainable on the long run, warns Seide: “The world is watching at Germany as the global leader – and when the German leader has a cold, the whole European biogas sector is in bed with the flu”. He added that the German biogas industry could easily produce an additional 300MW per annum until 2030 and to provide a flexible supply of electricity up to 10GW in total. He concluded by noting that the biogas sector was ready to take up new substrates including rotation crops, residues from fruits or flowers cultures with positive environmental effects, to meet these objectives.
Read the official press release (in German).