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Open AccessArticle

Flexible Biogas in Future Energy Systems—Sleeping Beauty for a Cheaper Power Generation

by 1,* and 1,2
DBFZ Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum gemeinnützige GmbH (German Biomass Research Centre), Torgauer Strasse 116, 04347 Leipzig, Germany
UFZ Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung GmbH (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research), Permoserstrasse 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2018, 11(4), 761;
Received: 20 December 2017 / Revised: 22 March 2018 / Accepted: 26 March 2018 / Published: 27 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems)
The increasing proportion of intermittent renewable energies asks for further technologies for balancing demand and supply in the energy system. In contrast to other countries, Germany is characterized by a high installed capacity of dispatchable biogas plants. For this paper, we analyzed the total system costs varying biogas extension paths and modes of operation for the period of 2016–2035 by using a non-linear optimization model. We took variable costs of existing conventional power plants, as well as variable costs and capital investments in gas turbines, Li-ion batteries, and pumped-storage plants into account. Without the consideration of the costs for biogas plants, an increasing proportion of biogas plants, compared to their phase out, reduces the total system costs. Furthermore, their flexible power generation should be as flexible as possible. The lowest total system costs were calculated in an extension path with the highest rate of construction of new biogas plants. However, the highest marginal utility was assessed by a medium proportion of flexible biogas plants. In conclusion, biogas plants can be a cost-effective option to integrate intermittent renewable energies into the electricity system. The optimal extension path of biogas plants depends on the future installed capacities of conventional and renewable energies. View Full-Text
Keywords: biogas; system integration; flexibility options; total system costs biogas; system integration; flexibility options; total system costs
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Lauer, M.; Thrän, D. Flexible Biogas in Future Energy Systems—Sleeping Beauty for a Cheaper Power Generation. Energies 2018, 11, 761.

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