In terms of bioenergy and waste management, ifeu has been working on projects relating to the production and use of biogas since the 1990s. The focus is on ecological optimisation and in particular the contribution to climate protection made by biogas. Increasingly low-emission systems have been constructed in Germany due to the framework conditions of the previous EEG funding scheme. The potential future contribution of biogas or biomethane to climate protection is most likely to be in flexible power generation. From a climate and environmental protection perspective, this poses questions about issues including optimum strategies for the ongoing operation or shutdown of existing systems.
For the evaluation from an environmental and climate protection perspective, life cycle assessments are used in all cases to examine complete biogas life cycles and compare them with the conventional energy supply. Different raw materials (cultivated biomass, agricultural, industrial and communal residual products), system concepts and variables (with feed-in to the natural gas network, with storage, with decentralised heat use) and different applications (for electricity and heat generation, as biomethane, in vehicles) are just some of the specialist topics under investigation.