Biogas Flows Through Germany’s Grid Big Time

Posted on July 18, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I hope the “hill reads this” PLEASE add “BIOgas” to Drive America on Natural Gas Act

The biggest biogas plant in the world to feed gas directly into the national gas grid is set to go into operation in eastern Germany at the beginning of 2009.

The plant at Konnern will feed 15 million cubic meters (m³) of biomethane into the national grid for use by customers anywhere in Germany. Experts say it is the start of a boom in biogas as the country’s energy providers increasingly look to home-produced biogas to reduce their dependence on natural gas imported from Russia.

In 2007, there were 1280 megawatts (MW) of installed biogas capacity and about 3,750 biogas plants in Germany. As much as 20 percent of Germany’s natural gas needs could be supplied from biogas by 2020, “Biogas is the market of the future because it allows energy to be produced and transported economically and in a decentralized way around the country,”

The boom in biogas comes thanks to a key technological breakthrough a year ago that allowed biogas to be injected into the natural gas grid and so transported around Germany economically, said Thomas Wilkens of WELtec BioPower, a company that manufactures biogas units. Read full via renewableenergyworld

Important reader comment: Anything that is compostable can be used as a feedstock for biogas. Therefore, the obvious answer to the feedstock problem is to use organic material diverted from our waste stream. This kills three birds with one stone: a). Less material going to landfill; b). Less methane production in landfills; c). free energy source for biogas production. Interestingly enough, manure is not an ideal feedstock (too much nitrogen); the ideal feedstock has a carbon to nitrogen ratio of 30:1. If you want to see how different material combinations will affect methane outputs, check out the Anaerobic Digestor Calculator located here So where could one find a bunch of carbon-heavy, organic feedstock? Hmmm…how about suburban American? With our sprawling lawns and fastidious homeowners…we produce a heck of a lot of organic material (grass clippings, etc) that just goes to waste. My hometown of Madison, WI, for example, has to pay to truck this waste to 3 big composting sites outside of town…why not just use this as an energy source right in town?


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