New limitations on energy crops use for biogas in Denmark

Limits on the share of energy crops used in biogas plants receiving state aid are due to start in August this year.

A Danish plan to restrict the use of purpose-grown crops for producing biogas has moved a step closer with publication of rules requiring AD plants to report the share of energy crops in their feedstock.

Rules restricting energy crops to 25% of a plant’s feedstock are due to start in August this year. From August 2018 the limit will be further reduced to 12%.

The reporting rules, revealed on 7 January, extend existing requirements regarding plants’ output of digestate to include the share of energy crops they take in. Facilities not complying with the requirement risk losing subsidies. Denmark’s energy agency and agrifish agency will jointly monitor the reports. The agencies expect to receive the first reports from September. A consultation on precisely how the system will work closes on 9 January and the results are expected in the early spring.

The decision to limit energy crops comes from a political drive mirrored across Europe, to move biogas production away from crops that can be used for food to processing waste. Germany, for example, has completely cut subsidies for energy crops have been removed, while France is also introducing legislation. Crops affected mainly include food varieties such as corn, beets and artichokes. Specifically, the rules apply to crops harvested as a whole for biogas use and therefore exclude waste from agricultural processes. Grass and clover is excluded as long as the land it is from has not been ploughed for a five year period or is farmed organically.

Source: ENDS Waste & Bioenergy