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Biogas to Energy : The World Market for Biogas Plants

  • June 2016
  • -
  • Ecoprog GmbH
  • -
  • 328 pages

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Biogas to Energy – The World Market for Biogas Plants

The worldwide construction of new biogas plants will continue in the next 10 years Between 2016 and 2025, the installed capacity will increase from around 7,000 MWel to 9,600 MWel, while the number of biogas plants will grow from circa 12,000 to 15,000

Subsidies for electricity, heat or fuel produced in biogas facilities will remain the main driver for this development However, as many (especially European) countries cut their support schemes, this development will not be as dynamic as in the early 2010s These reductions show the most severe impacts in the formerly dominating German market

Many market players are thus exploring new ways for doing business Apart from tapping new international sales markets, many technology providers are currently developing their service business related to optimising existing plants (repowering)

Against this backdrop, ecoprog GmbH has once again analysed, together with local partners, the global market for biogas plants This is the fourth edition of our study

Europe remains most important market for new biogas plants by 2025

Throughout the world, around 2,600 MWel of new biogas will be constructed by 2025, with RE subsidisation schemes being the most important market driver. Europe will remain the dominating region, despite the slump on the German market. These are some of the results of a new market study by ecoprog GmbH.

More than 12,000 biogas plants are currently active worldwide, reaching a capacity of about 7,000 MWel. Over 90% of these facilities are located in Europe, as parts of this region already started to introduce subsidisation schemes for renewable energy (RE) in the 1990s. About two thirds of all the world’s biogas plants are installed in Germany, where about 8,000 facilities were constructed based on the regulations of the German Renewable Energy Act (ErneuerbareEnergien-Gesetz, EEG).
However, Germany cut subsidies considerably in 2012 and the market, once dominating global market activities, slumped. Other countries have also begun to focus their subsidisation schemes on competition, saving costs and sustainability criteria. In Bulgaria and the Czech Republic, this has even resulted in a complete halt of state support.

Consequently, the number of biogas plants will increase in the years to come, but to a significantly smaller extent than in the booming years of the early 2010s. Whereas about 3,000 MWel were installed between 2010 and 2015, the installed capacity will only increase by about 2,600 MWel to 9,600 MWel from 2016 until 2025.

About 90% of all capacities were built in Europe in the booming years around 2011, but the share of new constructions will decline to about 75% by 2025. Europe thus remains the by far strongest regions worldwide. The strong biogas markets in France, the UK, Italy and Poland will at least compensate some of the considerable decrease of the German market.

Asia and North America become more important as well, as individual advantageous subsidisation schemes will produce positive outcomes, e.g. in Thailand. In the regions South America, Australia and Pacific as well as Africa and Middle East, the construction of biogas plants will remain limited to individual, sometimes very large projects. In most of the countries of these regions, lacking subsidies are the cause for the sluggish market development. Japan, by contrast, mainly struggles with gridlocked structures on the energy market and obstacles in the approval processes.

France will be the world’s strongest growth market by 2025. About 440 MWel will be constructed there, thanks to the expansion of the national subsidisation system: in the course of the new energy transition law passed in 2015, the feed-in tariff was increased and an additional auction system was introduced.

The market study “Biogas to Energy” includes:

A detailed analysis of the essential political, economic, managerial and technological trends for constructing and operating biogas plants

A concrete description of the current and future market volumes by countries, up to and including 2025, based on a transparent and comprehensible methodology

A description of more than 7,300 biogas plants, including essential technical data such as capacity, date of commissioning, used substrates as well as contact addresses These plants represent about 85% of the worldwide installed electrical capacity from biogas

A description of more than 770 new construction projects, over 140 of which are currently being built These projects are also listed with their essential technical data and contact addresses

A presentation and analysis of the most important biogas plant operators and manufacturers

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