Germany plans to increase biogas production to substitute Russian imports
Clean Energy Wire
Germany is betting on more biogas production in order to save natural gas with a view to possible shortages during the winter. The government will remove regulatory hurdles to an increase of domestic biogas production, energy state secretary Patrick Graichen said. Utility association BDEW welcomed the announcement to remove existing barriers to the "as yet untapped potential." Increasing the production and use of biomethane will "not only help us to quickly become independent of gas imports from Russia, but is also an essential building block for rapid greenhouse gas reduction," said the lobby group, which estimates that 100 terawatt hours of biomethane per year could be produced in Germany and fed into the gas grid by 2030 - about a fifth of the Russian gas consumed by Germany last year.
Biogas plants use plant-based material to produce green methane, and have proved a popular sideline for German farmers. Electricity from biomass makes up around one-fifth of German renewable power production but high costs (compared to other renewable sources) and land use as well as ecological concerns have resulted in reduced government support in recent years.