The second low-carbon project co-funded through the European Commission's NER 300 programme was inaugurated today in Brandenburg, Germany. The Verbiostraw project is a first-of-a-kind plant turning agricultural residue into biogas.
The Verbiostraw project was awarded co-funding of €22 million under the first NER 300 call for proposals in December 2012. The funding comes from revenues resulting from the sale of emission allowances in the EU Emissions Trading System.
The project is a key step in the commercial-scale demonstration of advanced biogas technology. The plant has a capacity of 16.5 megawatt and, once fully operational, will deliver 136 gigawatt hours per year of biogas and use some 40,000 tonnes of straw annually. It will use agricultural residue only and, as a result, does not require farmland to be used to grow energy crops. The biogas will be conditioned to the same quality as natural gas and fed into the natural gas network.
The project's inauguration event was organised by German authorities and the project sponsor, VERBIO Vereinigte BioEnergie AG, in the city of Schwedt/Oder on the German–Polish border. It was opened by Dr Oliver Lüdtke, project sponsor's board member, and joined by Mr. Jörg Vogelsänger, Brandenburg Minister of Agriculture, and Dr Kerstin Lichtenvort, European Commission's NER 300 coordinator.
Dr Lüdtke said: "Over the past five months, we have injected the first gigawatt hours of biogas made from straw into the natural gas grid. The NER 300 project is getting off to a good start."
The NER 300 programme is a key implementing tool of EU climate and energy policy. The total NER 300 funding is €2.1 billion, which is expected to leverage €2.7 billion in private investments. Altogether, 38 innovative renewable projects and one carbon capture and storage project in 20 EU Member States were selected for funding.