Germany, with 4,500 plants, demonstrates the viability of rural biogas

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IFAT 2010 clearly stating its strengths: 4,500 plants (95% industrial) and half the electricity production in the European Union.

The organisers of IFAT 2010 (13-17 September 2010) present Germany as the leader of the European Union’s biogas industry and therefore advise industry players to attend the biannual event in Munich to find out about the latest biogas systems and technologies. According to data published by Fachverband Biogas (Germany’s biogas trade association), 4,500 plants were in operation in Germany at the end of 2009; 95% of which use waste from crop and livestock farms such as slurry, manure and energy crops.

In contrast to other countries where most biogas is produced using organic municipal waste, Germany relies mainly on farms for its raw material. This country has also proven the viability of producing biogas using organic waste from the food industry.

Schmack Biogas and Strabag Umwelt, two world leaders

Some of the companies that will be attending IFAT explain that they do not rely on raw materials from outside the farming sector because of “the variable composition of other energy sources, which hinder significantly the fermentation process” adding that “it is necessary to sanitise expired food and other cooked foodstuffs prior to fermentation”.

Germany’s biogas industry is dominated by companies such as Schmack Biogas, with 22 plants around the world, and Strabag Umwelt, with 34 installations. Between them, these two companies process almost 4 million tonnes of waste per annum. According to the European renewable energies observatory (EurObserv’ER), in 2007 20,000 TWh of electricity was generated in the EU using biogas, half in Germany.

Source: IFAT 2010

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