The member of the Serbian Biogas Association, Faculty of Technical Sciences (FTS), organized within the project Initiative on small biogas facilities for manure to attain GHG mitigation in agriculture (Biogas initiative), funded by European Climate Initiative (“EUKI”) 2020, an expert visit to Germany. Within the three days of stay, the meetings with the German project partner– Bavarian State Research Center for Agriculture (LfL), Freising, have been organized, as well as visits of small biogas plants in the vicinity of Munich. The purpose of this three days visit was to achieve one of the project goals, i.e. to transfer the relevant knowledge in the field from Germany to Serbia.
The first of the visited facilities was built on an organic agricultural farm. Maize silage (in winter period) and grass silage are used as substrates for biogas production, beside liquid cattle manure (45%) from the livestock farm. The facility is specific due to the low investment costs (own capacities were utilized during construction, relatively simplified technology) around 3,800 €/kWe including auxiliary equipment for heat utilization, as well as an optimal integration into the existing farm infrastructure. The advantage is the high surplus heat utilization rate that is either sold (7 €c/kWhe) to the surrounding households or used to dry agricultural products in specially designed boxes with perforated floor. This biogas plant is operated to maximize biogas production in periods with possibility to market generated heat energy. The owner is considering operating within a ʻvirtual power plantʼ together with other biogas plants in the region, in a flexible operation mode during peak power demands. This could be an opportunity to continue the operation after expiration of remuneration of subsidized electricity price that rates for this facility around 24 €c/kWhe.
The next visited facility is technologically more advanced and with higher investment costs (7,500 €/kWe), since it is intended for flexible operation and electricity delivery in the grid during peak energy demands. Due to this, the installed electric power rates 285 kW, which of 160 kW is used in the average. The substrate mixture consists of livestock liquid and solid manure (70%), maize silage (20%), and ground sugar beet (10%) that is more complicated to storage but is fast degradable and therefore used to produce biogas during peak power demands.
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