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Table 1 German legislation influencing the biogas sector or addressing associated risks to sustainability. Year denotes the time when the act or regulation entered into force

From: Governance of sustainability in the German biogas sector—adaptive management of the Renewable Energy Act between agriculture and the energy sector

Instrument / ActYearOrganisation responsibleMain ObjectiveLink to the biogas sector
Renewable Energy Act12000; amended in 2004, 2009, 2012, 2014 and 2017Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (mainly)The most important instrument for the support of renewable power.
In order to maintain a flow of information to the decision makers, a monitoring system was implemented as a significant part of a legislative management cycle. This process aims at combining and condensing the broad range of data and information available from energy statistics, such as number of energy plants, their capacity, and incentives. An annual report on the progress of the “Energiewende” (the name of the German energy transition process) is published. After the experiment with open space solar power plants started in 2014, and in response to an EU guideline, the REA version of 2017 included tendering and expansion paths for all renewable energy technologies.
Main instrument for the biogas sector development is incentivising schemes, such as feed-in tariff and premiums.
Organic Waste Regulation (BioAbfV)21998Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture and Federal Ministry of Health.Regulates the use of organic waste for agricultural soils.Feedstock specification for biogas plants
Biofuel Sustainability Regulation (Biokraft-NachV)32009The Federal Ministry of Finances, the Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture, the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy as well as the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food are responsible for the associated certification systems (ISCC and REDcert are accredited in Germany).Regulates the sustainable production of liquid or gaseous transportation fuels from biomass. Since the harvest in 2010, only sustainably produced biomass of a greenhouse gas emission reduction potential of more than 35% has been used for the production of fuels.Feedstock specifications in terms of sustainability
Biofuel Quota Regulation (BioKraftQuG)42006Federal Ministry of Finances (mainly)Required the petroleum industry to add an increasing share of biofuels to their diesel and gasoline.Required development of biogenic fuels
Biomass Order (BiomasseV)52001Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture, Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety and Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.Regulates the types of biomass within the Renewable Energy Act.Feedstock specifications
Federal Emission Control Act (BImSchG)61990Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (mainly)Prevents harmful effects on the environment caused by air pollution, noise, vibration and similar phenomena.Infrastructure and operation specifications
Combined Heat and Power Generation Act (KWKG)72002Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (mainly)Regulates the purchase and financial incentives for power from combined heat and power plants.Specifications of purchase and financial incentives for power produced in biogas plants
Circular Economy Act (KrWG)82012Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (mainly)Focuses on increasing the recycling and pre-treatment of waste.Feedstock specifications
Farm Manure Regulation (WDüngV)92010Federal Ministry for Food and AgricultureControls the recycling and transportation of fertilisers from animal excrements, plant residues (i.e. from biogas plants using energy crops) or fermentation residues.Handling of biogas process residues
Act on Fertilisers (DüngG)102009Federal Ministry for Food and AgricultureSecures plant nutrition and soil fertility, while averting damage to humans, animals and the environment.Handling of biogas process residues
Fertiliser Regulation (DüV)112007Federal Ministry for Food and AgricultureRegulates the use of fertilisers, soil additives, culture substrate and pesticides and optimises the use of nutrients by plants.Handling of biogas process residues
Fertiliser Ordinance (DüMV)122012Federal Ministry for Food and AgricultureRegulates the approval of fertilisers, including labelling, as well as hygiene and phytosanitary measures during epidemics.Handling of biogas process residues
  1. 1https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/eeg_2014/
  2. 2https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/bioabfv/
  3. 3https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/biokraft-nachv/
  4. 4https://www.bgbl.de/xaver/bgbl/start.xav?startbk=Bundesanzeiger_BGBl&bk=Bundesanzeiger_BGBl&start=//*[@attr_id=%27bgbl106s3180.pdf%27]#__bgbl__%2F%2F*%5B%40attr_id%3D%27bgbl106s3180.pdf%27%5D__1563521944428
  5. 5http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/biomassev/
  6. 6https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/bimschg/
  7. 7https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/kwkg_2016/
  8. 8https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/krwg/
  9. 9 https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/wd_ngv/
  10. 10 https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/d_ngg/
  11. 11https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/d_v_2017/
  12. 12https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/d_mv_2012/