The introduction of the German Renewable Energies Act (EEG) on 1 April 2000 marked the start of the expansion of renewable energies in Germany. The law postulates two fundamental principles: Firstly, in the grid, power from regenerative sources is given priority over conventional power. Secondly, the feed-in tariffs determined by the legislator for the supply of renewable energies establishes investment security for the market actors.
The developments of the past 20 years confirm the success of the EEG: Since the law went into force, the share of renewable energies in the gross power consumption in Germany has continually increased, from 6.2 percent in 2000 to
42.1 percent in 2019. Accordingly, 244 billion kWh are generated from solar energy, wind, water and biomass. Bioenergy accounts for 11 percent of this figure. In the field of heat generation, renewable energies account for a share of 39 percent, some 34 percent of which are based on bioenergy.
„In Germany, regenerative energies are the power source Number One, and the whole world has come to view the EEG as an effective instrument for the systematic, publicly approved expansion“, underlines Jens Albartus, Director of the German biogas plan manufacturer WELTEC BIOPOWER. He goes on: „Moreover, the law and its adaptations to new market conditions have constantly brought about new technologies that have become an indispensable element of many profitable energy plants.“
„To perpetuate the success story and secure jobs in this industry, we must now increasingly turn our attention to the existing anaerobic digestion plants in Germany and urgently find smart follow-up solutions, especially for those whose 20-year EEG subsidisation will end in the coming years“, says Jens Albartus. The effort is surely worth it, as biogas does not depend on wind and sunshine and therefore constitutes a key pillar in the renewable energy mix. „Moreover, biomethane – i.e. refined biogas – serves as an important, carbon-neutral and sustainable fuel in the traffic reform“, explains Jens Albartus and adds:„To engage in research that culminates in innovations that also benefit the development of international projects, we need a strong German market.“