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A Spatial MAS Simulation to Evaluate the Promotion of Electricity from Agricultural Biogas Plants in Germany

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  • Sorda, Giovanni

    () (E.ON Energy Research Center, Institute for Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN), RWTH Aachen University)

  • Sunak, Yasin

    () (E.ON Energy Research Center, Institute for Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN), RWTH Aachen University)

  • Madlener, Reinhard

    () (E.ON Energy Research Center, Institute for Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN), RWTH Aachen University)

Abstract

In this paper we investigate how changes in the support scheme may affect electricity generation from agricultural Combined Heat and Power (CHP) biogas plants in Germany. A recursive Multi-Agent System (MAS) for investment decision-making is coupled with GIS data. The spatial-temporal diffusion model accounts for the limited availability of substrate resources, alternative plant sizes and different heat use combinations. For illustration, we apply the model to the German federal states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria, for which we estimate an additional economic capacity potential of 409 MWel. Overall, we conclude that current feed-in payments per unit of electric power provided are probably not too far off the optimum level, if one considers the maximum diffusion of CHP units possible. However, the current feed-in system may overtly favor small generating units, thereby failing to incentivize coordination among farmers for joint resource use in larger and more efficient plants. In addition, optimization of the biogas conversion process and feedstock use would also be highly beneficial.

Suggested Citation

  • Sorda, Giovanni & Sunak, Yasin & Madlener, Reinhard, 2011. "A Spatial MAS Simulation to Evaluate the Promotion of Electricity from Agricultural Biogas Plants in Germany," FCN Working Papers 1/2011, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN), revised Oct 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:fcnwpa:2011_001 Note: revised October 2012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Harmsen-van Hout, Marjolein J.W. & Dellaert, Benedict G.C. & Herings, P. Jean-Jacques, 2008. "Behavorial Effects in Individual Decisions of Network Formation," Research Memorandum 019, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    2. Harmsen - van Hout, Marjolein J.W. & Herings, P. Jean-Jacques & Dellaert, Benedict G.C., 2013. "Communication network formation with link specificity and value transferability," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, pages 199-211.
    3. Harmsen - van Hout, Marjolein J.W. & Herings, P. Jean-Jacques & Dellaert ,Benedict G.C., 2006. "The Structure of Online Consumer Communication Networks," Research Memorandum 028, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    4. L├╝schen, Andreas & Madlener, Reinhard, 2010. "Economics of Biomass Co-Firing in New Hard Coal Power Plants in Germany," FCN Working Papers 23/2010, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
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    Cited by:

    1. Dergiades, Theologos & Madlener, Reinhard & Christofidou, Georgia, 2012. "The Nexus between Natural Gas Spot and Futures Prices at NYMEX: Do Weather Shocks and Non-Linear Causality in Low Frequencies Matter?," FCN Working Papers 17/2012, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN), revised Sep 2013.
    2. Bernstein, Ronald & Madlener, Reinhard, 2011. "Responsiveness of Residential Electricity Demand in OECD Countries: A Panel Cointegation and Causality Analysis," FCN Working Papers 8/2011, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
    3. Michelsen, Carl Christian & Madlener, Reinhard, 2011. "Homeowners' Preferences for Adopting Residential Heating Systems: A Discrete Choice Analysis for Germany," FCN Working Papers 9/2011, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
    4. Rohlfs, Wilko & Madlener, Reinhard, 2011. "Multi-Commodity Real Options Analysis of Power Plant Investments: Discounting Endogenous Risk Structures," FCN Working Papers 22/2011, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).

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    Keywords

    Biogas; Technological diffusion; MAS; GIS; Policy;

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