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A short Analysis: Increasing Demand for Biogas in Germany

Industry figures 2022 under the microscope

The German Biogas Association has published the market figures for 2021 and the outlook for 2022. These indicate an increase of biogas plants in the recent months, only few closures and - most important - a high demand for biogas heat.

The number of biogas plants in Germany increased by 138 to 9,770 in 2021. The installed capacity grew by 194 megawatts (MW) to 5,860 MW. Gross electricity production amounts to about 33.47 terawatt hours (TWh).

As in previous years, the increase in flexible capacity is obvious: ten megawatts of work-relevant capacity, i.e. the capacity that actually provides additional electricity in the grid, is offset by an increase of 226 MW of installed capacity, which was built for flexible and demand-oriented operation of the biogas plant.

The largest number of new biogas plants was built in Bavaria with 56 new plants - and with a total of 2,641 biogas plants, Bavaria remains the leader ahead of Lower Saxony and Baden-Württemberg. In terms of installed capacity, Lower Saxony leads with 1,451 MW, ahead of Bavaria with 1,362 MW.

120 new biogas plants should be connected to the grid this year, but when excluding the capacity of those that will be shut down, the net new installations will come in at about 65 MW distributed among 100 plants.

Biogas plants across Germany are expected to produce 33.56 TWh in electricity this year and supply heat enough to meet the demand of 1.5 million households. This will offset about 21.2 million tonnes of carbon emissions.

"The importance of biogas as a flexible, reliable and universally applicable renewable energy source is particularly evident in the current crisis," Horst Seide, President of the German Biogas Association, emphasises. This is clearly reflected in the figures for heat use but can also be seen in the electricity supply.

GBA calls for the immediate removal of restrictions in the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) and in licensing law in order to exploit the full biogas potential.

Download the market figures