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EnviTec biogas plant is “Plant of the Month” March

Photo by EnviTec Biogas AG

Since April 2019, the German Biogas Association has chosen a biogas plant as “Biogas Plant of the Month” every month in order to create more awareness for biogas as an energy source.

This month, this award has gone to North Rhine-Westphalia, namely to Saerbeck. The award, which is coveted by experts, goes to Saergas GmbH & Co. KG for its plant in the Saerbeck Bioenergy Park. “We are flattered and very happy about the honour. In the past years we have put a lot of sweat and heart and soul into the plant and often had the right instinct,” said Managing Director Hendrik Uhlenbrock, commenting on the award.

There were several reasons for the award, emphasised Hermann Josef Benning, spokesman of the Münsterland regional group of the Biogas Association, at a small ceremony: “The plant in Saerbeck impressively shows what is possible with a biogas plant today. The Saerbeck plant not only produces sustainable electricity and heat. The plant technology is precisely tailored to the needs of the energy market, as the operators invested in appropriate adequate optimisation several years ago.”

Saergas GmbH, in which 16 farmers, Maschinenring Steinfurt-Bentheim and the biogas plant manufacturer Envitec AG hold shares, also shows how bioenergy production and environmental protection go together in an exemplary manner. By using perennial wild plants (BG90), the biogas plant links climate and environmental protection. “The cultivation of alternative energy crops creates habitat and food supply for various animal and insect species, which significantly increases biodiversity in our fields. You don’t just see that, you hear it,” said Benning.

Saergas GmbH produces about 8.7 million kilowatt hours of electricity and heat annually. Part of the heat is transported to a neighbouring industrial estate via a 3.5 km spur line to heat, among other things, the new production facility of the electrolyser manufacturer Enapter AG.

Since 2018, the electricity production of the Saerbeck plant has been technically optimised so that it only runs by the hour when the demand for electricity is correspondingly high. “It is precisely this flexible mode of operation that is one of the undisputed plus points of biogas technology,” Isabelle Grudda, biogas expert at the Landesverband Erneuerbare Energien NRW (LEE NRW), pointed out, referring to the importance of biogas for the energy industry, “these flexible biogas plants can specifically compensate for fluctuations in volatile wind and solar feed-in and thus contribute equally to security of supply and climate protection.

In order to quickly increase the flexible use of biogas in times of low sun and wind, LEE NRW calls on the state government to push for a change in the funding and approval framework at the federal level. “We need every kilowatt hour of bioenergy that can be realised quickly and easily, for example by simply lifting quantity limits,” says Grudda.

This is not the only demand of the LEE NRW: “In order to realise the full biogas potential, we need a biogas summit quickly to simplify and standardise the legal framework for biogas plants. This way, project ideas can be implemented much faster and more biogas output can be realised,” says expert Grudda. Last December, the LEE NRW had published the position paper “More urgent than ever: winter biogas” in order to achieve an energy-economical repositioning of biogas use in the upcoming discussion on the Federal Government’s National Biomass Strategy in the coming weeks.

For more information, please visit: https://www.envitec-biogas.com/