Biogas is an end product produced by the fermentation of biodegradable materials such as biomass, manure, sewage, municipal waste, green waste, plant material, and crops. Biogas originates from biogenic material and is a type of bio fuel. Biogas comprises primarily methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2).
Germany is Europe’s biggest biogas producer as it is the market leader in biogas technology. Due to the decrease of new plants in Germany, the German plant manufacturers are insisted to expand abroad.
As per the market reports given by ecoprog’s and Fraunhofer UMSICHT’s which is the world’s largest data collection on biogas plants, there would be a growth in the installed capacity in the worldwide market for biogas plants from around 4,700 to about 7,400 MWel between 2012 and 2016 in European countries such as Italy, France and UK. In contrast, the German biogas market has gone down drastically since early 2012, due to which the German biogas industry is forced to internationalise their business strategies.
Worldwide, there are more than 10,000 operational biogas plants with an installed capacity of about 5,000 MWel. Almost two thirds of the facilities are located in Germany. According to the reports, the worldwide installed capacity in biogas plants will further increase by 2,700 MWel from 2012 until 2016 and the number of biogas plants will grow by another 3,800.
According to the report, in the past five years, the focus of the growth in Biogas market was shifted away from Germany due to which the German share of newly worldwide constructed plants had decrease to about a third and new strong markets are evolved in other European countries, North America and Asia. In Germany the number of newly constructed biogas plants per year will decrease from about 1,300 in 2011 to 300 plants in 2012; the installed capacity will decline from 610 auf 200 MWel.
The already established biogas markets in Italy, UK, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands will continue to be among the most important markets in the next five years due to their favourable subsidisation schemes. France and Poland are some of the new strong European growth markets because they have introduced a feed-in tariff in 2011 and simplified the approval procedures for the construction of biogas plants. Japan has also introduced the world’s highest feed-in tariff for biogas in mid-2012, which will bring in major changes to the Biogas market.
In the years to come, North American and Asian companies will also be added in the non-European markets. Mainly biogas plants will be constructed in the USA, Canada, China, India and Japan. Standards in India and China will reach western levels in the years to come and the countries will significantly develop their biogas markets thanks to their huge biomass potentials.