Germany holds the lead in biogas production among European countries. However, the recent changes in the national regulatory environment will probably lead to a decline in biogas production. In particular, the 2014 amendment of the “Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG)” significantly reduces the incentives and promotional measures for the biogas technology uptake. Therefore, the biogas status in Germany will be at stake, unless other supportive measures come into place or the biogas sector is radically transformed. One example of such transformation is the community energy concept, which Germany has already introduced to its energy sector. Arguably, the uncertainty that the regulatory changes have brought to the national bioenergy sector, coupled with the potential of community-based solutions that are already implemented on a local level, renders Germany a highly interesting case study.
ISABEL will focus on Baden-Württemberg region, where the Lake Constance Bioenergy Region (one of the pioneer 25 regions in Germany acknowledged as “bioenergy-regions” in 2009) is located. The region is among the wealthiest in Europe, with low unemployment rates and a population of about 10.8 million. The area is an incubator for new innovative concepts and approaches in several domains, including bioenergy.
ISABEL will implement bottom-up schemes and techniques, filling with new, from the energy communities created, alternatives, the biogas systems.