One Farmer, A Few Hecatres and A Biogas Plant

Earlier this week I had a chance to tour a biogas plant near Cologone, Germany that was developed by Ecofys. Part of the technical tour series at the Power-Gen and Renewable Energy World conferences, the tour gave its particaipants a look at how a biogas plant works, from the start with the feedstock in this case corn stover and grains (see image left).

The plant produces at 99% of its capacity, according to Marcus Brandt from Ecofys. The biogas is created via anerobic digestion in tanks. Is is treated in a stand alone cleaning unit and then is used in a GE Jenbacher gas engine (see image right).

The plant is supported by one farmer, who uses approximately one third of his arable land to supply the facility. In addition to the production of gas, the plant also produces a fertilizer byproduct that is reused on the same farm (see image below).

It is incredible to see something so simple that can produce renewable energy for the local community and economic benefits for both the farmer and the land owner of the plant.

We were in Cologne early in the week and we’ve now made our way to Munich for the Intersolar. I’ll be posting video from the biogas tour, Renewable Energy World Europe and Intersolar in the coming days and weeks, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, stop by and see us in Munich.

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Former Editor at, now Assistant Counsel at the New York State Department of Public Service, regulating New York's electricity, gas, and telecommunications industries.

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