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An Economic Assessment of Biogas Production and Land Use under the German Renewable Energy Source Act

  • Ruth Delzeit , Wolfgang Britz

Abstract: The Renewable Energy Source Act (EEG) promotes German biogas production in order to substitute fossil fuels, protect the environment, and prevent climate change. As a consequence, green maize production has increased significantly over the last years, causing negative environmental effects on soil, water and biodiversity. In this paper we quantitatively analyse the EEG-reform in 2012 by applying the simulation tool ReSI-M (Regionalised Location Information System – Maize). Comparing the EEG 2012 with a former version of the legislation, results imply that the reform contributes to an expansion of biogas electricity generation compared to former versions, and thus to substitution of fossil fuels. Furthermore, given a restriction in the share of green maize input, its production is reduced and the crop-mix is diversified. However, since maize provides the highest energy output per area, total land requirement for biogas production increases. An alternative analysis shows that an EEG with tariffs independent from plant-types would provide the highest subsidy-efficiency, but slightly lower land efficiency compared to the EEG 2012

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File URL: https://www.ifw-members.ifw-kiel.de/publications/an-economic-assessment-of-biogas-production-and-land-use-under-the-german-renewable-energy-source-act-2/KWP_Delzeit_Britz.pdf
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Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1767.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1767
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  1. Gomann, Horst & Kreins, Peter & Breuer, Thomas, 2007. "Deutschland – Energie-Corn-Belt Europas?," Journal of International Agricultural Trade and Development, Journal of International Agricultural Trade and Development, vol. 56(5/6).
  2. Delzeit, Ruth & Britz, Wolfgang & Holm-Müller, Karin, 2011. "Modelling regional input markets with numerous processing plants: The case of green maize for biogas production in Germany," Discussion Papers 162892, University of Bonn, Institute for Food and Resource Economics.
  3. Ruth Delzeit & Karin Holm-Müller & Wolfgang Britz, 2011. "Ökonomische Bewertung des Erneuerbare Energien Gesetzes zur Förderung von Biogas," Kiel Working Papers 1682, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
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