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SPIN Policy workshop for the biogas sector

The SPIN project has selected four focus sectors for their activities:
  • biogas sector
  • sustainable construction
  • small scale water treatment
  • surface treatment.

Since the SPIN Action Plan aims to include specific recommendations for the selected industry sectors, a policy workshop dedicated to the biogas sector was held on 1 December 2010 in Berlin. The workshop brought together the SPIN partners with representatives from the European Biogas Association, SME representatives from Germany and Estonia as well as technology experts. Current state and future trends of the biogas sector in different countries were presented and the influence of the public framework conditions on innovation activities discussed.

One finding was that the biogas sector has developed differently in different countries. While Germany has seen a fast growth during the last decade with more than 1.000 new installations per year Estonia has installed only a few pilot plants because it is not yet a business case there. Within the public framework conditions, the financial incentives set by the German Renewable Energy Law (EEG) for production and feed-in of electricity from biomass was one of the main drivers of the fast growth whereas the guaranteed feed-in tariffs in Estonia are not competitive for biogas producers. On the other hand the fast growth in Germany has created new problems of growingly large areas of monocultures for energy crops and low monitoring standards of the existing plants. In Sweden, the biogas sector has developed without using energy crops but instead mainly waste biomass and sewage sludge.

A SPIN background study on innovation and framework conditions in the biogas sector in the BSR is soon to be published. The observed influences of the regulation framework in the biogas sector will be used as an input for development of the SPIN Action Plan to develop sector-specific recommendations.