There is a binding EU-wide target to source 20 per cent of each country’s energy needs, as stipulated in the Kyoto Protocol, from renewable sources by 2020. The production of biogas is one promising key technology that could lead to this target being reached. But which technologies, measures and conditions are needed to advance biogas technology in Europe? The EU research project SEBE (Sustainable and Innovative European Biogas Environment) is investigating the conditions that are required to push biogas technology forward. One of the 14 SEBE partners is the Institute for Sanitary Engineering, Water Quality and Solid Waste Management (ISWA) at the University of Stuttgart.
Biogas is a sustainable, versatile energy carrier; it can be used for the production of energy and heat, cold and fuel. It can also be processed and fed into the natural gas network. With around 5,000 biogas production plants, Germany is a leader in biogas technology and also has further potential to expand. The situation is different in a number of other European countries where biogas plants are regarded as uneconomical. In addition, there is often a negative view of the issue in countries where projects have failed.
Against this backdrop, the goal of the SEBE project is to identify the legal, technical and economic conditions that enable the sustainable development of biogas technology in Europe. The establishment of a network of national competence centres and the transfer of know-how to new EU member states that have little experience with innovative measures in the area of biogas play a key role in this endeavour. The Department of Solid Waste Management and Emissions deals, amongst other things, with the innovative topic of microgas networks (local biogas networks). In addition, the University of Stuttgart is in charge of subprojects focusing on the legal, economic and logistic conditions.
The SEBE research project, which was launched with a kick-off event in Graz (Austria) in July 2010, will be carried out under the leadership of the Internationalisation Centre Styria (ICS) in Austria. With a total volume of more than 3.2 million euros, the SEBE project is the largest biogas project in the "Central Europe" EU programme, which is financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). A website and a regular newsletter will be published to spread the vision and publicise the achievements of the project.
Institute for Sanitary Engineering, Water Quality and Solid Waste Management at the University of StuttgartDepartment of Solid Waste Management and EmissionsProf. Martin KranertTel.: +49 (0)711 / 685-65500E-mail: martin.kranert(at)iswa.uni-stuttgart.de
Dr. Sigrid KuschTel.: +49 (0)711 / 685-65438E-mail: sigrid.kusch(at)iswa.uni-stuttgart.de