Biogas has a special significance in the field of renewable energies. It is versatile and makes an important contribution to sustainability and climate protection, the central goals of the energy transition adopted by the German government.
Biogas is suitable for generating electricity and heat, as a fuel and, in the form of biomethane, as a substitute for natural gas. Biogas has an important function because the energy carrier can be stored without loss and is flexible in its use. Wind and solar energy, on the other hand, depend on the time of day, weather and season.
Flexibly deployed biogas plants supplement the renewable power generation of fluctuating wind and solar energy. Biogas plants can already easily compensate for daily and weekly fluctuations.
The potential of biogas has not been exhausted and is necessary to achieve the goals of the energy transition. The biomass potential for biomethane production is sufficient to cover 40% of Germany's gas demand, and under realistic assumptions at least around 13% (= 11.8 billion m³). So far, only 232 of the almost 9200 biogas plants in Germany produce biomethane; this corresponds to about 1% of natural gas consumption in Germany in 2019.
Biogas plants can convert various types of organic waste into storable bioenergy in the form of biogas or biomethane: Residues from food production, kitchen waste or overstored food are shredded in the biogas plant, hygienised if necessary and converted into biogas. The substrate that remains afterwards is processed and can be sold as certified fertiliser in agriculture. The fibrous components that do not become biogas can be used as substitute fuel or reused in a wide range of products.