07 Dec 2023, 13:13
Benjamin Wehrmann

Bioenergy industry warns plant fleet in Germany at risk due to support regime

Clean Energy Wire

Germany’s bioenergy plant fleet is at risk of shrinking as many operators lack a perspective for economically viable operations, industry lobby association HBB has warned. The massive oversubscription of bids in the latest bioenergy plant auction in the country had shown how urgently many operators want to secure a reliable footing for continued operations, as the vast majority of bids had been submitted for existing installations, HBB head Sanra Rostek said. Rostek called the auction results “a real shock” that policymakers should take as a call for action. “The current framework for biomass in the Renewable Energy Act 2023 lead into a dead end and carelessly put dozens of terawatt hours of electricity and heat from biomass as well as the future of many new plants in jeopardy,” Rostek argued. Hundreds of installations for which operators tried to secure guaranteed support for the next ten years in the auction continue to lack a clear perspective, she said. Auctioned volumes should be increased instead of lowered in the next years, as is currently planned, Rostek added.

In the latest auction for bioenergybids exceeded the auctioned volume threefold, meaning many of the submitted bids could not be accepted. Successful bids on average secured a guaranteed support level of 18.2 cents per kilowatt hour. Earlier this year, the country saw its first oversubscribed bioenergy auction after an increase in guaranteed support. Biomass is Germany’s most important renewable energy source, accounting for nearly 9 percent in primary energy consumption in 2022. Advocates of the technology argue that the technology could play an even greater role, both to replace part of the loss in natural gas supplies from Russia and to provide more flexibility to the country’s power system.

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