EEG 2012 Biomass Brochure

The amendment of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) that entered into force on 1 January 2012 (EEG 2012) also lead to changes for biomass feed-in tariffs. The Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV) has now published a brochure that shall provide helpful information on this complex matter.

The EEG amendment especially aims to tap the potential of biogenic waste while avoiding a competition with the food and feed crops production. Hence the use of corn and crops for the production of biogas was limited (Section 27 para. 5 no. 1 EEG). In contrast, small biogas power plants using liquid manure receive higher feed-in tariffs (Section 27b EEG).

The combination of renewables and agriculture has a tendency to make the legal regime less than easy to understand. The brochure shall shed some light on the applicable rules.

According to the EEG 2012, feed-in tariffs for biomass depend on the raw materials used to generate electricity. Raw materials are divided into three classes. For electricity generated from raw materials listed in Annex 1 the basic tariff is paid. If electricity is (also) generated from raw materials listed in Annexes 2 or 3, the tariff rises (proportionately). Biogas power plants that start operating after 31 December 2012, however, only receive the applicable feed-in tariff if the installed capacity does not exceed 750 MW (Section 27 para. 3 EEG). Special tariffs apply to electricity from installations utilising biogas which is generated from the fermentation of biowaste (Section 27a EEG) and from the fermentation of manure (Section 27b EEG). In order to receive the Section 27b EEG tariff, plant capacity must not exceed 75 kW.

Annex 2 of the brochure contains a table showing the different feed-in tariffs.

Source: Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection

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