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The expansion of biogas fuelled power plants in Germany during the 2001-2010 decade: Main sustainable conclusions for Poland

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Author(s): Wojciech M. Budzianowski | Izabela Chasiak

Journal: Journal of Power Technologies
ISSN 2083-4187

Volume: 91;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 102;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: biogas | power plant | Germany | 2001--2010 decade | sustainable development | Poland

ABSTRACT
In the period 2001-2010 the number of biogas fuelled power plants have increased in Germany by almost 20% year-on-year, from 1050 at the beginning of 2001 to 6000 at the end of 2010. The main drivers behind this rapid expansion were: (i) technological advancement, (ii) attractive financial incentives such as feed-in-tariffs, (iii) the search for increasing energy security and (iv) the strong German farming sector. Due to existing similarities between German and Polish economies, Poland has the potential to replicate Germany's example and Polish biogas energy might also undergo expansion at a similar rate in the near-term. This article reviews aspects of Polish energy policy and investigates factors that could provide impetus for an upsurge of agricultural biogas energy in Poland. It is emphasized that amendments to the Polish tradable certificate system are urgently needed in order to encourage investment into biogas energy. For instance, the introduction of biomass and technological bonuses could improve feedstock availability and boost the take-up of best available biopower technologies, respectively. Promising, but mostly unexplored feedstock potentials in Poland, such as energy crops, grasses, sorted municipal organic wastes and algae are discussed. The role of agrobiogas in the possible solving of Polish CCS dilemmas is explained. Further, it is shown that the cost of electricity is almost independent of the size of agrobiogas CHP power plants in the range of 0.2 to 5 MWe. Therefore, agrobiogas energy could be dominated by small-scale agrobiogas power plants offering more green jobs and improved local waste management characteristics. New national and international research and development initiatives are needed in order to enhance the development of biogas energy in Poland.
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