Nearly 9,000 bio-gas plants are currently operational in Germany. 23 MW of newly installed electrical capacity was added in 2015 and, in early July, the 2017 German Renewable Energy Sources Act was adopted.
Freising, Germany. Germany added 150 bio-gas plants in 2015, according to the most recent data released by the German Bio-gas Association (Fachverband Bio-gas E.V.). Among these operations, more than 130 were small manure plants. The remaining operations included feed, waste fermentation plants and onsite agricultural electricity generation facilities.
While the number of plants did increase, the general small size of the facilities installed in 2015 boosted renewable energy generation by a total of 23 megawatts (MW), the smallest annual increase since the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) was first adopted in 2000.
The overall pace of additional construction is somewhat disappointing. “The current Renewable Energy Sources Act has created extremely poor conditions for the bio-gas industry in Germany,” says Claudius Da Costa Gomez, general manager of the German Bio-gas Association.
As a flexible complement to wind and solar plants bio-gas power for safe and stable renewable energy supply is essential!
The total installed capacity of all 8,856 bio-gas plants amounts to 4,018 MW. About eight million households are supplied with electricity from bio-gas.
In addition to the 23 MW of added electrical output, existing plants added storage facilities to increase plant performance by an additional 100 MW. When electrical demand is high and/or there is low power generation by wind and solar plants, the bio-gas plants can boost production. On sunny and windy days, or days of low electrical demand, gas can be stored for future use. Together, this results in additional power grid generation of 123 MW.
For 2016, The German Bio-gas Association predicts 26 MW of energy capacity will be added. As in 2015, the association expects the plants to be small manure-based plants, as well as some feed-in systems.
An updated 2017 Renewable Energy Sources Act provides that instead of fixed remuneration the lowest bid wins. However, there are maximum bid prices: For existing installations this is 16.9 cents / kWh and for new plants at 14.88 cents / kWh.
The annual cap is set at 150 MW electrical capacity from 2017 to 2019, increasing to 200 MW per year from 2020 to 2022. Even in existing plants whose EEG tariff is about to expire, continued operation of the plant can be expected through the successful participation in a tender. For existing installations smaller than 150 kW a special rule is valid. Small slurry systems below 75 kW and waste fermentation installations do not have to participate in the tender and still get the fixed remuneration.
“Bio-gas has an important function as a storable energy source for reliable provision of electricity, as a heat source, for the creation of nutrient cycles with organic waste and for the regional value,” Da Costa Gomez says. “With the 2017 EEG, we hope the current stagnation of the German bio-gas market can be overcome, so we can see more new investments, maintenance of existing assets, and expanded production that can be made more flexible.”
The industry figures for 2015/2016 can be found here
4 Common Items That Can be Reused Again and Again
As a society we are getting much better at taking our obligations to the world and environment around us more seriously. This is undoubtedly a good thing! The effects of climate change are beginning to manifest across the world, and this is turning the issue from an abstract threat into a very real danger. Trying to introduce some greener, more eco-friendly practices into your life isn’t just a great way of doing something beneficial for society and the world around you. It is a wonderful way of engaging positively with the world and carries with it numerous psychological benefits.
Being a greener, more ecologically friendly person doesn’t require any dramatic life changes. Breaking or making a few small habits is all it takes to make your life a greener one. In this article we look at one of the easiest, yet most effective green practices to get into: reusing everyday items.
Jars and Containers
Glass and metal are widely recycled, and recycling is a good thing! However, consider whether any containers you buy, whether it’s a tub of ice cream or a jar of coffee, can be washed out and reused for something else. Mason jars, for example, can be used to store homemade pasta sauce and can be washed for future use. Once you start thinking about it, you will find endless opportunities to reuse your old containers.
An ice-cold soda is a wonderful treat on a hot day, but buying soda can get expensive, and the manufacturing and distribution of the drinks themselves isn’t great for the environment. However, by holding on to your old soda bottles and repurposing them as water bottles, you can save money on drinks, or use them to measure out water for your garden.
Most of the time groceries come in paper bags, which are better for the environment than the plastic alternatives, but they are less durable and thus harder to reuse. Whenever the store places your items in a plastic bag, hang onto it so you can reuse the bags again. If you want to take it one step further, consider looking into buying some personalized recycled bags. These bags are designed to last for a long time and are made of recycled materials. They look striking and unique, they’ll turn heads, and maybe even attitudes!
If you’re a keen gardener, then you will already probably know how to reseed your plants in order to ensure a fresh crop after each plant’s lifecycle. If you have space in your garden, or haven’t yet tried your hand at gardening, then consider planting a small vegetable plot. Growing your own veggies means that you’ll be helping to cut back on the emissions generated by their transport and production. The best part about growing your own food in this way is that, by harvesting properly and saving the seeds, you can be set up with fresh vegetables for life!
Reusing and recycling common household items is an easy way to make your world a little bit greener. Once you start looking for these opportunities you’ll realize that they’re everywhere!
These 5 Green Office Mistakes Are Costing You Money
The sudden interest in green business is very encouraging. According to recent reports, 42% of all companies have rated sustainability as an important element of their business. Unfortunately, the focus on sustainability will only last if companies can find ways to use it to boost their ROI.
Many businesses get so caught up in being socially conscious that they hope the financial aspect of it takes care of itself. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to go green and boost your net income at the same time.
Here are some important mistakes that you will want to avoid.
Only implementing sustainability on micro-scale
The biggest reason that brands are going green is to improve their optics with their customers. Too many businesses are making very minor changes, such as processing paperwork online and calling themselves green.
Customers have become wary of these types of companies. If you want to earn their business, you are going to need to go all the way. Bring in a green business consultant and make every feasible change to demonstrate that you are a green organization from top to bottom.
Not prioritizing investments by long-term ROI
It isn’t realistic to build an entirely green organization overnight. You will need to allocate your capital wisely.
Before investing in any green assets or services, you should always conduct a long-term cost benefit analysis. The initial investment for some green services may be over $20,000. If they don’t shave your cost by at least $3,000 a year, they probably aren’t worth the investment.
Determine which green investments will have the best pay off over the next 10 years. Make these investments before anything else. Then compare your options within each of those categories.
Implementing green changes without a plan
Effective, long-term planning is the key to business success. This principle needs to be applied to green organizations as well.
Before implementing a green strategy, you must answer the following questions:
- How will I communicate my green business philosophy to my customers?
- How will running a green business affect my revenue stream?
- How will adopting green business strategies change my monthly expenses? Will they increase or decrease them?
- How will my company finance green upgrades and other investments?
The biggest mistake that too many green businesses make is being overly optimistic with these forecasts. Take the time to collect objective data and make your decisions accordingly. This will help you run a much more profitable green business.
Not considering the benefits of green printing
Too many companies believe that going paperless is the only way to run a green organization. Unfortunately, going 100% paperless it’s not feasible for most companies.
Rather than aim for an unrealistic goal, consider the option of using a more environmentally friendly printer. It won’t be perfect, but it will be better than the alternative.
According to experts from Doranix, environmental printers have several benefits:
- They can process paper that has been completely recycled.
- They consume less energy than traditional printers.
- They use ink that is more environmentally friendly.
You want to take a look at different green printers and compare them. You’ll find that some will meet your needs as a green business.
Poorly communicating your green business strategy to customers
Brand positioning doesn’t happen on its own. If you want to run a successful green business, you must communicate your message to customers as clearly as possible. You must also avoid the appearance that you are patronizing them.
The best approach is to be clear when you were first making the change. I’ll make an announcement about your company‘s commitment to sustainability.
You also want to reinforce this message overtime by using green labels on all of your products. You don’t have to be blatant with your messaging at this stage. Simply provide a small, daily reminder on your products and invoices.
Finally, it is a good idea to participate in green business seminars and other events. If your community has a local Green Chamber of Commerce, you should consider joining as well.