Germany

Support schemes

The support schemes for biomethane utilisation solely rely on three major instruments:

  • Feed-in tariffs for renewable electricity,
  • Renewable Heat Obligation and
  • Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation.

Direct subsidies

Green electricity tariffs biomethane taken from gas grid
Renewable Energy Act (Erneuerbare Energien Gesetz / EEG) has been set into force which ruled grid access and the remuneration for renewable energy. Renewable energy has priority access to the electricity grid and it receives technology specific feed-in tariffs. Once the RES production plant has been set into operation, it receives the same feed-in tariff for a guaranteed period of 20 years.
Biomethane utilisation enjoys feed-in tariffs only when being used in CHP with 100 % heat utilisation.

In its most recent amendment , EEG 2012 has introduced four categories of biogas plant sizes and two substrate categories. Electricity from biomethane CHP receives the biogas feed-in tariff and is eligible for the bonus for gas feed-in (up to 3 €cent/kWh depending on plant size).
On plus the EEG 2012 has introduced a flexibilty bonus for market oriented production of electricity. This promotes on demand generation of biogas generated electricity to satisfy peak load conditions.

Indirect subsidies

EEG 2012 has introduced a flexibilty bonus for market oriented production of biogas. This promotes on demand generation of biogas generated electricty to satisfy peak load conditions. The law mandates a minimum utilization of 60% heat for biogas plants, creating a case for conversion to biomethane.

The Renewable Energies Heat Act (Erneuerbare Energien-Wärmegesetz / EEWärmeG) became effective in 2009. It stipulates that 14 % of Germany’s heat demand (in terms of final energy) is to be sourced from RES. Buildings erected after 2009, 1st of January are obliged to employ renewable energies for their heat supply. All forms of renewable energies can be used. Biogas utilization in CHP is can also fulfil the obligation. In case the gas is taken from gas grid, requirements on the sustainable production of the biomethane are to be fulfilled.

The Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (Biokraftstoffquotengesetz / BioKraftQuG), announced in 2006 and introduced in 2007, rules that all suppliers of vehicle fuel are obliged to admix a minimum percentage of biofuel to vehicle petrol and diesel fuel. Since 2009, biomethane is eligible to fulfil this quota. The allowance can be traded in the market and the price is capped by a legal maximum as fine.

Advantages in natural gas transportation/trade for biomethane balancing systems in terms of flexibility ease the transportation of biomethane in the public grid.

Tax exemptions or reliefs

According to Act on energy tax/Energiesteuergesetz, energy generated from biofuels such as biomethane enjoys tax relief.  Biomethane for vehicle fuel application enjoys tax exemption (only if it is not to contribute to fulfilling the biofuel quota). 

Reduced grid related costs

The Gas Network Tariff Ordinance ( GasNEV) lays down  a provision of bonus for avoided network tariffs of 0.7 €cent / kWh biomethane to reward not using the transmission pipeline system (in contrast to natural gas imports).