The ‘Biogas Partnership of the Year’ competition, co-ordinated by the Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena) – the German Energy Agency – has been won this year by the fjuhlster company for its ‘Car-Sharing for Energy Transitioners’ project. The start-up intends to provide only 100% biomethane-powered vehicles in a Hamburg car-sharing pool. The renewable gas is sourced either from residual or waste products or from surplus green electricity.
‘The project’s charm lies in fjuhlster’s desire to make climate-friendly biogas mobility through car-sharing something that many, especially younger people, can access and experience. We expect that this will make far more people open to the idea of alternative forms of propulsion and low-emission fuels. The transport sector is in urgent need of new initiatives for the minimisation of emissions, because greenhouse gas emissions are now at the levels they were at the beginning of the 90s,” explained dena’s Managing Director, Kristina Haverkamp, during the award ceremony at the biogaspartner Annual Conference, ‘Climate protection with biomethane – nationally and regionally’.
The winning project: ‘Car-Sharing for Energy Transitioners’
The initiators of the biomethane project, ‘Car-Sharing for Energy Transitioners’, want to show what is possible, even today, in car-sharing without using conventional diesel and petrol vehicles, and expand the Hamburg car-sharing pool with a green alternative. The start-up is opting for so-called free-floating car-sharing, which has no fixed stations. The vehicles can be parked anywhere within the defined business district.
In justifying its decision, the jury pointed out that the project was aimed at providing an important target group with eco-friendly mobility, and that this would have a far-reaching multiplier effect. This would make an important contribution to the recognition and acceptance of biomethane as an alternative fuel. In the medium to long term, using biomethane as fuel was one of the few eco-friendly alternatives in the transport sector. The jury comprised representatives of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the biogas industry, science and dena.
The significance of biomethane in transport
The use of biomethane in natural gas vehicles reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90 per cent compared to diesel and petrol. In addition, both biomethane and natural gas contribute to air pollution control. This is of particular benefit to cities and local communities whose nitric oxide and particulate emissions exceed the limits allowed. Natural gas fuels currently contain a blend of around 20 per cent biomethane. Yet, in spite of the obvious climate and environmental benefits, the number of natural gas vehicles on Germany’s streets declined for the first time in 2015. One of the reasons is that the extension to the tax relief for natural gas and biomethane as fuels, promised a long time ago, has still not been implemented.
dena has been presenting the annual biogaspartner awards since 2008 with the aim of supporting the development of the biomethane market in Germany. The competition takes place within the framework of the ‘biogaspartner’ project – the platform for feeding biogas into the natural gas network. The initiative brings together around 50 players from along the entire biomethane value chain and supports them in their efforts to develop the biogas market.
Further information on biomethane and on dena's Biogas Partnership is available at www.biogaspartner.de.