Biogas for Eco-Friendly, Profitable Energy Generation: MWM Supports Biodiversity Week of the German Biogas Association
Mannheim, June 24, 2020
By means of the nationwide biodiversity campaign week under the motto #blühendesleben (“blooming life”), the German Biogas Association draws attention to the potential of biogas for the energy industry and the protection of insect and wildlife diversity. The campaign week runs from June 29 to July 3, 2020. As a member of the German Biogas Association, MWM advocates sustainable and eco-friendly energy supply and supports initiatives to protect biodiversity.
Biogas Plants as Omni-Utilizers
Biogas is a resource-saving, climate-friendly alternative to fossil fuels and is gained by digesting biological material in biogas plants. Virtually all plant species can be used and digested in biogas plants. Thus, even weeds that grow along with conventional crops can be harvested. If duly applied, the use of herbicides can be reduced, allowing the soil to recover faster. Groundwater contamination, too, is reduced. Plants and herbs that are not suitable for food and feed production can also be utilized in biogas plants. The dry matter yield of wild plants is slightly lower than that of corn. Nevertheless, thanks to the working time and operating cost savings for diesel and herbicides, the mixtures are economically on par with conventional digestion substrates. Additionally, they support the diversity of insects, which are very important for agriculture.
Needs-Oriented Power Generation through Flexibilization
For many farmers, biogas plants are an important source of income. Operators increasingly turn to flexibilizing their biogas plants in order to be able to feed in the generated power as needed. Biogas plants can deliver power at all times and regardless of the weather conditions. The climate-friendly, inexpensive heat generated by the plants can be used for heating homes or public institutions. The German Renewable Energies Act (EEG), which entered into force in 2012, provides for the subsidization of biogas plant flexibilization measures. To encourage operators to switch to demand-oriented power generation, the EEG 2017 offers a reliable perspective in the form of an optional feed-in tariff extension by up to 10 years including guaranteed power feed-in tariff. Germany’s federal government also subsidizes the development and expansion of the long-term use of heat via local heat networks at biogas locations at which previously, the heat had not been used much or not at all.
In biogas plants, the energy produced from a hectare of plants is four to six times as much as the energy required for the digestion and cultivation. The utilization of renewable raw materials and biomass enables sustainable energy supply. Moreover, the positive carbon balance of biogas plants provides an important contribution to climate protection. For example, a standard biogas plant with an output of 400 kW saves about 1,800 t of carbon compared to a fossil power plant of the same size. Additionally, digesting liquid manure in biogas plants instead of simply storing it prevents climate-wrecking methane from escaping into the atmosphere.
MWM Plant Designated as “Cogeneration Power Plant of the Month”
In January 2020, “Energie & Management” magazine designated an MWM cogeneration power plant for an agricultural biogas plant in Wehrbleck, Lower Saxony as “Cogeneration Power Plant of the Month”. The plant, whose operation has been flexibilized, supplies an industrial wood drying plant and a local heat network with heat. For this purpose, an MWM TCG 2020 V20 biogas engine with an output of 2 MWel and 2.3 MWth has been installed. The generated heat is used for heating municipal and residential buildings and for drying the wood chips in order to extend their storability.
The regenerative storage power plant of the Rohlfs Biogas KG biogas power plant with flexible cogeneration, heat storage, and gas storage. (Photograph: Energethik Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH)
MWM Power Plant Solutions for Agricultural Biogas Plants
MWM offers biogas-optimized gas engines, complete plants, and containers for combined heat and power (CHP) generation. MWM cogeneration power plants (CHP plants) enable economic, efficient energy generation and are suitable for flexible operation. The on-site plant transforms the employed energy into electrical energy and heat. MWM’s CHP plants, gas engines, and containers achieve maximum efficiency in various output segments. MWM also provides the system components required for gas processing and treatment. Where gensets are installed in remote areas, the generated energy can even be used exclusively by the plant.
- German Biogas Association: Biodiversity Campaign Week (in German)
- Press release: Climate-Friendly Power and Heat Energy with MWM Gas Engines: Biogas Plants Continue to Be Key Factor in Carbon Reduction
- Power Plant Solution for Agricultural Biogas Plants
- Press release: MWM Flex Cogeneration Power Plant for Biogas Plant in Lower Saxony Designated “Cogeneration Power Plant of the Month” of January
- Using the Flexibility Bonus: Flexible Biogas Future with MWM (in German)
- NABU Baden-Württemberg: Wild Plants as a Supplement to Biogas Corn (in German)