Germany: EEG draft must be immediately revised

In terms of bioenergy schemes, the draft of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) must be urgently revised. This is the conclusion drawn by the majority of the experts of the Committee on Economic Affairs and Energy present in the German Bundestag on June 2, 2014.

At the hearing, the future development of bioenergy received a special attention. In particular the case of compensation for new plants and the protection of investments that have already been made raised concerns, requiring further improvements.

Dr. Claudius da Costa Gomes, who is the chief executive of the German Biogas Association and represented the bioenergy sector at the consultations, firmly stated that the implementation of the current draft would lead to a disaster in the German bioenergy industry: “The current plans of the Federal Government are translated into a development stop in the bioenergy industry, the insolvency of many existing plants and manufactories and an energy policy transition not worthy of its name. The deputies must now get down to business and show how much they care for a genuine energy revolution and for the German middle class.”

In the coalition negotiations, Germany’s main parties CDU, CSU and SPD agreed to allow the additional building of bioenergy plants, which “predominantly” use waste as substrate. However, according to the German Biogas Association, the current EEG draft breaks this agreement. The remuneration classes for bioenergy installations using energy crops and manure as substrate had been cancelled, restricting thus future projects to residual and waste materials. This, in turn, would only allow a newly installed capacity of 6 MW per year.

General discontent reigns also over the actions of the federal government to protect investments. In the view of the German Biogas Association, the fact that in case of an increased electricity production, the additional kilowatt hours are not remunerated, threatens the economic survival of many plant operators and jeopardizes new investments.

According to da Costa Gomez with a further increase in electricity supply from wind power and photovoltaic systems, bioenergy will be the stabilizing element in Germany’s energy transition, its costs being lower than the conversion of conventional power plants. Therefore, the growth of the bioenergy industry should be further allowed and supported.

Source: Press release German Biogas Association (in German)