Biomethane-powered combined heat and power plants (CHP) play a key role in our future energy supply. They could help replace fossil power plants as contributors to supply security and supplement fluctuating wind and solar feed-in volumes. This is one of the conclusions the Biogas Partnership, a platform bringing together around 60 companies in the biogas industry organised by the Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena) – the German Agency –, has drawn from its recently concluded "Future Biomethane" dialogue process.
"Since this energy source can be stored and controlled, biomethane-based energy generation ensures reliable, round-the-clock power supply. The use of biomethane in CHP plants is a crucial factor promoting the success of the energy transition," explains Oliver Frank, Head of dena's Renewable Energies and Energy-Efficient Mobility Division.
Combining the benefits of CHP and biomethane
In view of the imminent amendment of the German Combined Heat and Power Act, the Biogas Partnership members are calling for increased promotion of CHP plants via the introduction of a fuel- and technology-neutral premium. This step would combine the advantages of CHP, such as high energy efficiency, with the benefits provided by biomethane, a renewable and storable energy source. At the same time, it would support the operators' additional efforts in the field of climate protection.
Biomethane's market potential not yet exhausted
Biomethane is a versatile energy source whose uses range from the replacement of fossil raw materials in the chemical industry and serving as a car fuel to direct heat applications. However, the respective markets are still at an early stage of their development. "Until these markets have reached their full potential, the benefits of biomethane are best exploited in CHP applications. This will allow Germany to continue using its internationally sought-after expertise in the field of plant engineering and help companies open up new markets," says Oliver Frank.
dena has summarised the results of the "Future Biomethane" dialogue process in the form of a brochure which can be obtained free of charge from dena's online shop.
dena has developed the "Biogas Partnership" project in conjunction with partners in the agricultural and energy sectors. The project brings together stakeholders along the entire value-added chain, allowing them to play an active part in the development of the market. dena is playing the role of a clearing house, providing a platform for the collection and processing of information as well as its dissemination at the national and international level.
Further information is available at www.biogaspartner.de