New Policy Paper on Bioenergy

New policy paper by the Energy Watch Group (EWG) and the Network Flexperten finds:  Expansion of biogas storage power plants is indispensable for 100% Renewable Energy

In collaboration with the Network Flexperten we published our first policy paper of the year: “Securing the energy transition with local storage power plants and sustainable biomass for structural change and climate protection in agriculture”. The paper states that biogas has the potential to contribute to the energy transition with up to 30 GW peak power quickly, sustainably and cost-effectively.

Key findings are: 

  • Biogas can support the energy transition on a larger scale than today and replace fossil
    power plants and (expensive) natural gas
  • Flexible, decentralized storage power plants lower energy prices, secure energy supply and support the heat transition
  • Biogas production can secure income in rural areas and has the potential to replace value creation from livestock farming
  • The systematic shift of decomposition processes to fermenters reduces GHG emissions from agriculture
  • Cultivation and use of wild plant crops and permanent pastures ensures carbon capture and humus build-up
“Today, biogas is vastly derived from planted crop, associated with the food-or-fuel dilemma. But biodegradation is part of every natural circular flow. Using existing residual materials from agriculture for biogas digesters instead, we avoid dangerous GHG emissions, we preserve the organic matter as a natural fertiliser and we gain a huge energy resource: renewable methane”, underlines Uwe Welteke-Fabricius, one of the authors of the study.       

Political implications 

Hans-Josef Fell, EWG-president and second author of the paper emphasizes: “It is often claimed that since solar, wind and storage will provide the lion’s share of a future energy supply with 100% renewables, there is little need to care about the “niche technologies” such as bioenergy, hydropower or geothermal energy. This perception is wrong and jeopardizes the goal of achieving 100% renewable energy in all sectors by 2030. Bioenergy as well as hydropower or geothermal energy aren’t just niche technologies, but will and have to contribute substantially to a functioning 100% renewable energy supply. Their strengths lie in their storage capacity, their flexibility and the resulting year-round availability”.

In order for existing and newly built biogas plants to be able to develop their potential for climate and species protection and a secure energy supply in Germany, it is extremely important that the traffic light coalition now sets the right course with the upcoming amendment of the EEG.

Read our concrete policy recommendations and the full paper (in German) here: