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Tino Barchmann, consultant at the BMEL, sees the future strategic applications of biomethane in high-calorific use, highly flexible electricity generation and for selected biofuels. In future, biomethane will be the link between material use and CO2 storage. The National Biomass Strategy (NABIS), which has been under discussion for several years but has still not been finalized, currently has an implementation gap; the current results of negotiations and the coordination of objectives still do not allow for the publication of this key strategy paper. Behind the scenes, resentment about this has become clear. The EU policy in particular, which envisages a tenfold increase in the production of biomethane to 35 billion m³ by 2030, is obviously being blocked by German politicians. Based on a survey of German gas network operators, 233 grid connection requests were recorded - out of a total of 232 biomethane plants already in operation. Of these, however, many approval and implementation procedures have come to a standstill.


Felix Colsman, CEO of the DAH Group, which has just undergone a change of ownership to a financial investor and is now on course for growth, was of the opinion that the cascading use of biomass is the wrong approach, but that all forms of use, such as heat and electricity generation for industry and the private sector, material and fuel use, should have equal importance. Regional conditions must be taken into account and companies must be given the opportunity to make optimum use of their resources. The same applies to the production of biogas. He pointed out that the maize cap should be abolished, as maize cultivation, i.e. the cornification of the landscape, is already adequately regulated in other regulations.


Volker Barsch from DVGW, the German Association for the Gas and Water Industry, gave a very interesting insight into the role of hydrogen and biomethane. Just before the discussion of the effects of the Building Energy Act, he presented a study that predicts the future end customer price of hydrogen and biomethane in the heating market to be between 10 and 12 ct. It is predicted that the purchase of biomethane will then be cheaper than that of hydrogen and that considerable savings can be realized for households if they switch the operation of their existing gas boilers to the purchase of biomethane. The CO2 levy will cause the price of natural gas to rise sharply; biogas and biomethane are the "quick wins" for the energy transition. Thomas Wecker, also from DVGW, sees a future distribution battle for hydrocarbon-based molecules.


What is interesting in the volume statistics is the increasing role of Danish and British imports of biomethane in particular. At around 2.7 GWh, these imports already account for 25% of the German market and this share will continue to rise. The first biomethane volumes are even expected from Ukraine soon.

The assessment of the "All Electric Society", which has been shaped over the last 10 years by Agora Beratungsgesellschaft zur Energiewende, was interesting. This has clearly failed due to a lack of feasibility and a lack of technological openness. Regenerative gas molecules were simply ignored. Berlin is now opening up to this realization and creating new paths to sector coupling.


Zoltan Elek, Managing Director of Landwärme, pointed out the initial spark of RED II in the transport sector for the biomethane market. However, the still high prices for fuel-grade biomethane in 2022 are at an all-time low and are completely stifling this positive effect.  For 13 months, we have been experiencing the scandal of allegedly sustainably produced Chinese biodiesel being imported into the EU at dumping prices. While England and Denmark have already banned imports, nothing is happening in Germany! The money flowing to China alone for "diesel declared as progressive" is already estimated at €12 billion. This money should actually be used to expand our own EU energy production. The damage to the German economy is immense and to this day, no action has been taken to stop it. The reaction of politicians is long overdue and they should act quickly.


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