Bio natural gas, as a renewable energy source, definitely has a chance of securing a part of the energy supply in future. With care in production, a keen eye on the environment and the right degree of agricultural involvement, bio natural gas will be able to develop to its full potential.

Feeding bio natural gas into the existing natural gas pipeline system means that it can be used very efficiently in electricity generation. Considering the subsidies granted by the Renewable Energy Sources Act (Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz, EEG), bio natural gas is an efficient and environmentally friendly option, especially in cogeneration power plants with high heat output.

Bio Natural Gas. Efficient Energy

Picture: Bio-methane efficiency

By 2030 nearly 100 billion kWh of bio natural gas could be produced, nearly 10 percent of Germany's current natural gas consumption. Bio natural gas could provide enough heat and electricity for five million households.

In contrast to wind or solar energy, bio natural gas has the advantage that it can be produced continually throughout the year and it can be easily fed into the natural gas pipeline system. It is not subject to seasonal fluctuations and is independent of wind and weather conditions.

The full use of the potential bio natural gas has to offer is tied to certain conditions, such as:

  • The size and efficiency of the bio natural gas power plant
  • The location and availability of a secure supply of high-yield agricultural products with low logistics expense
  • Proximity to suitable natural gas pipelines

Bio Natural Gas - Highly Efficient use of Farm Land

Used as a fuel, bio natural gas has significantly greater agricultural efficiency than other biofuels such as biodiesel or bio ethanol. The biomass yield per hectare of crop will produce about three times as much energy in bio natural gas as biodiesel, for instance. The harvest of one hectare produces enough bio natural gas to fuel a natural gas powered car for 70,000 km. In addition, the production of bio natural gas creates a practically closed cycle of materials, with the fermentation byproducts returning as fertilizer to the field from which they came.

* Initiators of the survey were the German Energy and Water Association (Bundesverband der Energie- und Wasserwirtschaft, BDEW), German Association of Gas and Water (Deutsche Vereinigung des Gas- und Wasserfachs, DVGW), Bavarian Ministries of Food, Agriculture and Forestry and of Economy (Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Landwirtschaft und Forsten/Wirtschaft), German Association of Farmers (Deutscher Bauernverband) and the German Biogas Association (Biogas-Fachverband).