Challenges for the biomass plants in Germany

In view of the forthcoming amendment process to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), the BAV (German Federal association of waste wood conditioners and recyclers) is committed to ensuring that climate-friendly energy from waste wood remains an important component of the energy system transformation process. The majority of wood-fired power plants, most of which are subsidised by the EEG, will be phased out gradually between 2020 and 2026.

This transition poses a challenge for the industry, as it is at this time that power plants that have already dropped out of the subsidy are in competition with power plants that continue to receive the feed-in subsidy. “The end of EEG support, which the BAV supports in principle, must be designed in such a way that no waste wood power plants leave the market due to the distortion of competition caused by subsidies,” says Simon Obert, Managing Director of the BAV.

Waste wood power plants that no longer fall under the regime of the EEG also lose the feed-in priority over fossil fuels, as the amended Biomass Ordinance no longer recognises waste wood as biomass. Dieter Uffmann warns: “If wood-fired power plants lose their status as producers of renewable energies and the associated priority given to feed-in electricity over fossil fuels, there is a danger that electricity and heat from wood can no longer be produced economically in Germany. Every waste wood biomass power plant that comes off the grid also means that valuable CO2 savings potential is lost. We must promote for the fact that Germany sets further on green energy from old wood.

Context: In about 75 waste wood power plants in Germany waste wood is used as fuel. Each year about 6-6.6 million tons are used. This corresponds to about 75-80% of the annual waste wood volume in Germany. The majority of waste wood power plants receive state subsidies. This ends in 2020 for the first 11 of the 75 plants.

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