A Spatial MAS Simulation to Evaluate the Promotion of Electricity from Agricultural Biogas Plants in Germany

FCN Working Paper No. 1/2011 (revised October 2012)

51 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2011 Last revised: 9 Jan 2015

See all articles by Giovanni Sorda

Giovanni Sorda

RWTH Aachen University - Institute for Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN)

Yasin Sunak

RWTH Aachen University - E.ON Energy Research Center

Reinhard Madlener

RWTH Aachen University

Date Written: January 2011

Abstract

In this paper we investigate how changes in the support scheme may affect electricity generation from agricultural Combined Heat and Power (CHP) biogas plants in Germany. A recursive Multi-Agent System (MAS) for investment decision-making is coupled with GIS data. The spatial-temporal diffusion model accounts for the limited availability of substrate resources, alternative plant sizes and different heat use combinations. For illustration, we apply the model to the German federal states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria, for which we estimate an additional economic capacity potential of 409 MWel. Overall, we conclude that current feed-in payments per unit of electric power provided are probably not too far off the optimum level, if one considers the maximum diffusion of CHP units possible. However, the current feed-in system may overtly favor small generating units, thereby failing to incentivize coordination among farmers for joint resource use in larger and more efficient plants. In addition, optimization of the biogas conversion process and feedstock use would also be highly beneficial.

Keywords: Biogas, Technological diffusion, MAS, GIS, Policy

Suggested Citation

Sorda, Giovanni and Sunak, Yasin and Madlener, Reinhard, A Spatial MAS Simulation to Evaluate the Promotion of Electricity from Agricultural Biogas Plants in Germany (January 2011). FCN Working Paper No. 1/2011 (revised October 2012) . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1783556 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1783556

Giovanni Sorda (Contact Author)

RWTH Aachen University - Institute for Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN) ( email )

Mathieustrasse 10
Aachen, 52074
Germany

Yasin Sunak

RWTH Aachen University - E.ON Energy Research Center ( email )

Mathieustrasse 6
Aachen, 52074
Germany

Reinhard Madlener

RWTH Aachen University ( email )

School of Business and Economics / E.ON ERC
Mathieustraße 10
Aachen, 52074
Germany
+49 241 80 49 820 (Phone)
+49 241 80 49 829 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.eonerc.rwth-aachen.de/fcn

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