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The Potential of Biogas: Lessons from Germany Steve Plachinski, Aleia McCord, Mirna Santana, Jeff Starke, Sarah Stefanos CHANGE-IGERT, UW-Madison


Outline 1.  Introduction to Biogas 2.  The World Leader – Germany 3.  Three Lessons from Germany 4.  Social and Policy Considerations


What is Biogas? – Inputs Inputs  

Biological  Ac*vity  

Outputs  

Manure   Substrates   •   Corn  Silage   •   Wheat   •   Grass  (hay)   •   Food  Waste   •   Others  

Anaerobic   Digester  

•   Microbes   •   Heat   •   No  oxygen  

Digested   Solids  

Biogas   (50-­‐75%  Methane)  


What is Biogas? – Outputs and End Uses Biological  Ac*vity  

Outputs  

End  Uses  

Heat  

Combus5on  

Anaerobic   Digester  

Electricity  

Biogas   Solids  

Direct  Use   Upgrade  to   Pipeline  Quality  

•   Fer*lizer   •   Animal  Bedding  

Transporta*on   Fuel  


Germany – The World Leader in Biogas

Sources: Beyond Biofuels: Renewable Energy Opportunities for US Farmers, Heinrich Böll Stiftung (2010) Biogas: Rethinking the Midwest’s Potential, Peter Taglia (2010)


Three Lessons from Germany 1.  Business Models –  Industry pioneers; co-ownership; partnering with universities, nearby communities, energy utilities

2.  System Scale and Design –  Large vs. small systems; unique system designs

3.  Innovative Inputs and End Uses –  Substrates; additives; uses of heat; pipeline gas


Industry Pioneer and University Partnership


Co-ownership and Community Partnership


Split Ownership with Energy Utility Electricity  

On-­‐site   Combus4on  

Mixer  

Corn  Silage   Grass   (100%)  

Farmer  Responsible   U4lity  Responsible  

Biogas  

Digester

Storage   Tank  

Sell  to   U4lity  

Solids  

Fer4lizer  

Upgrade   (cleaning)   Process  

RNG  

Inject  into   NG  Pipeline  


Integrative Business Model How Can Wisconsin Do This? –  Consider a variety of ownership structures (utilities, companies, etc.) –  Work with researchers (universities, etc.) –  Identify possible partnerships with local community or businesses –  Synergies with other bioenergy resources (ex. ethanol and biogas) Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA (2010)


Small-Scale System


Large-Scale System


Three-Ring Digester Design •   On-­‐farm  Heat   •   Wood  Drying  

#  Livestock:  0   #  Acres  in  Cul4va4on:  230  ha      #  Years  in  Opera4on:  4   Biogas  

1  MW   Electricity  

Mixer  

Corn  Silage   Grass   (100%)  

Combus4on  

Storage  

Solids  

Fer4lizer  


…and Fully Automated


New Technologies and Designs


System Scale and Design How Can Wisconsin Do This? –  Small-scale biogas systems are possible –  Consider a variety of system designs –  Explore new technologies that can lower costs and increase system versatility


Inputs – 100% Crops (no manure)


Inputs – Digester Additives


End Use - Drying Wood


End Use - Heat for Community Use


End Use – Adding Value

On-­‐site  Combus4on   Electricity   Heat  

Municipal   Sludge   (1km  away)   No Sludge to Landfill

On-­‐Site  Drier   •   25%  Solids  In   •   90%  Solids  Out  

Solids  

Beneficial Heat Usage

Profit = €49 per ton sludge (wet)

Cement  Plant   (50km  away)   Incinerated  with  coal   Decrease volume coal


End Use – Renewable Natural Gas


Innovative Inputs and End Uses How Can Wisconsin Do This? –  Conduct more research on optimal substrate combinations –  Identify potential substrate sources from on-farm and non-farm sources –  Work with neighbors and local community to determine best end uses –  Maximize use of combustion heat


Social & Policy Context for Germany’s Biogas Success Social Context / Motivations 1.  Progressive approach to waste 2.  Climate Change 3.  Energy Security

German Policies 1.  Feed-in-Tariff is instrumental 2.  Result of a bottom-up process

Different social context and policy environment in Wisconsin • How is the motivation for biogas different in Wisconsin? • What might Wisconsin’s social and policy environment need to be to grow its biogas industry?


Conclusions 1.  Business Models 2.  System Scale and Design 3.  Innovative Inputs and End Uses 4.  Social Context and Policy Environment are Important Factors


Acknowledgements •  German hosts –  –  –  –  –  –  – 

Robert Höre Jurgen and family Bernd Roth Rolf Weigel Petra Hess Klaus Hoppe Paul Thürwächter

•  Trip Participants –  Gary Radloff –  Amanda Bilek –  Ted Petith

•  The CHANGE program –  Rob Beattie –  Carmela Diosana –  Jonathan Patz


The Potential of Biogas: Lessons from Germany