Prospects for expanded utilization of biogas in Germany
The prospects for expanded utilization of biogas systems in German was analysed, by identifying the operational and policy factors affecting the complete chain of processes from implementation process for biogas plants, through to biogas production and utilization. It was found that the Renewable Energies Act (EEG) and energy tax reliefs provide bases for the support of expanded utilization. Upgrading of biogas to natural gas quality for utilization in the transportation sector was arguably the most promising technology that could support rapid utilization expansion. Sustainable deployment of biogas systems in light of the unstable feedstock prices and availability, and the need for subsidy-free operation in the long term requires; enhancement of feedstock flexibility and quality characteristics to maximise gas yield, and optimisation of the anaerobic digestion process management. Assessment of energy balance and potential environmental impacts of the integrated process chain provides a holistic assessment of sustainability. The results also support the development and foster of policies and framework for development of biogas as environmentally friendly energy resource, among a mix of renewable energy sources, hence, compete favourably with fossil fuels to enhance the prospects for expanded utilization.