A decade ago, was the production of Electricity from biomass as a future backbone of an ecological energy. The technology now exists for a political direction pivoting on the brink of. A visit to two energy producers.
The biogas pioneer
Hugo Sekler draws his eyebrows, looks at the ground, takes a deep breath and sweeps through thinning hair: “We have here seven years maturity,” he says. “Then it’s over.” Sekler Bauer is not just a good mood. A rhinitis has him under control for some time, and the price low for chicken meat costs the farmer money each month. But his real problem is the huge thing that stands in the middle of his yard and looks a bit like a green-washed oil refinery. “I do not know how many sleepless nights did me the biogas plant cost over there,” said Székely. “My hair has certainly suffered a lot.”
Sekler is one of the pioneers in biogas Baden-Württemberg and has witnessed so pretty much everything by pioneers typically suffer: uncertainty, setbacks, successes. Grade is another setback to the series. Early 2000s was his court at a crossroads. The prices of agricultural goods lying on the ground. Rapeseed, rye, beets – everything was sold at a loss on the world agricultural markets. To burn wheat as fuel substitute was worth at the time more than to throw him the agricultural dealers in the throat. With food money seemed to earn to become the discontinued model
However, there was a small ray of hope. By the year 2000 came into force the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) to promote eco-energy and electricity from biomass should be encouraged by the state. For the starving peasants that was a lifeline. Sekler grabbed at the opportunity and invested as one of the first in the Southwest in a biogas plant. “I have seen this as a real opportunity to do business and ecologically earning money again,” Bauer says Sekler today
The biogas boom
The production of electricity by fermenting plants or manure evolved from 2002 within a short time to hit with farmers who fed had the eternal ups and downs of prices on the international agricultural markets. After all, Germany guaranteed its farmers fixed prices for green electricity over the next 20 years. As of 2004, exploded the number of often towering plants. Among the rich feed-in tariffs on electricity were always new bonuses that could reap about the digestion of high levels of manure or renewable resources (Nawaros) in the plants. In Baden-Württemberg doubled between 2004 and 2009 the number of installations. Until the end of 2011 it almost tripled. . At the time, the performance of the nationwide every year newly added biogas Breeders reached mathematically, the power of a nuclear power plant
The princely remuneration, which led to the boom, justified by the fact that biogas plants – unlike wind or solar power plants – could provide electricity continuously. The biogas power generation should thus be an anchor of stability for the new eco-energy world. Bauer Sekler had his conditioning back then, after years of Tüftelns and the technical difficulties, “under control” and earned good money. However, the impacts already approached again. The abrupt increase in corn fields – the main fuel of biogas plants – called critics on the scene. “Germany vermaist”, then the headlines newspapers. In addition, the production costs skyrocketed. As then with the Leopoldina also one of the most prestigious German research networks using biomass exhibited a bad witness, responded politics and brought the subsidy rates in two steps – 2012 and 2014 – into a tailspin. From 2022 – after 20 years of promotion – it now looks like this, when needed Seklers football field large million investment, which supplies in the nearby village also almost ten households with district heating, alone contribute. At the current electricity prices will not go that says Bauer Sekler. “. We ask ourselves now is, what should we do in seven years”
The biogas newcomers
Thomas Häcker not asking this question – even though it is exactly his money as Hugo Sekler earned a biogas plant. “For me it is brilliant,” says the young farmer in the deepest Schwäbisch. Behind him stand on the fermenting vats of cast townspeople biogas breeder. Everything is new and sparkling clean. From a small control room of the young farmers’
controls the temperature development and the circulation of the plant slurry mixture into the large substrate tanks and so regulates the energy. The principle is the same as in the well a decade older system of Hugo Sekler. There is a crucial difference, however: Haeckers power plant is to be controlled much more flexible and relies heavily on the production of heat. Nearly 80 houses and five large urban buildings are connected by grounding to the biogas plant, in the outbuildings, the resulting biogas is converted to steam. Other households should be connected to this village district heating network. “We want everyone in the village has the opportunity to obtain renewable heat from us”, says the young farmer, the system also operates the first Board of Energy Cooperative Gussenstadt.
electricity produced Hackers also significant , namely whenever it is needed in the German networks. That is usually the case if there is slack or the sun does not shine and limp make solar and wind power plants in the Republic. An ingenious system of steam generators and -zwischenspeichern makes it quick and easy to switch from heat to electricity. Through a service provider who cast townspeople biogas plant marketed their energy directly and computer controlled exactly when the market prices for electricity are high. “System Expediently” was his conditioning because they will help to keep the energy production in Germany in the Lot, says hackers.
This flexibility is worth money. Operators flexible facilities receive a small surcharge on the state subsidies for the energy produced.
The future of the industry
have a real prospect after the state funding over 20 years, but also ultra-modern not plants. The electricity production in the breeders is too expensive compared to wind or solar energy
A concert of organizations and politicians from states with high biogas plant numbers -. Including Baden-Württemberg – nevertheless strives for months, the Technology to give a perspective. Under discussion are further bonuses for particularly flexible systems, to better promote the production of heat or a renewal of the existing subsidies for green electricity from biogas.
The aim is that existing today around 8400 biogas plants not eventually shut down in front of him rotten and only serve for object lesson of a failed green energy promotion. Therefore “grandfathering for existing plants” is the word of the day in the German biogas industry.
On a boom rapids plant construction as in the early 2000s, no one believes. From the policy states that one must expect that the generation of electricity from biomass in the coming years “significantly declining”
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