Agricultural biogas plants – investment facilitation

Biogazownie rolnicze

Agricultural biogas plants are renewable energy installations in which – during the methane fermentation process – gas is produced. As of September 11, 2023. The provisions of the July 13, 2023 law will take effect. On facilitating the preparation, implementation and operation of investments (OJ. pos. 1597), including but not limited to:

  • Accelerating the process of building an agricultural biogas plant;
  • facilitating the issuance of conditions for connecting an agricultural biogas plant to the grid;
  • Exemption from the obligation to change the use of land and its exclusion for agricultural biogas plants located on farms on an area of no more than 1ha;
  • allowing the location of facilities on land belonging to an agri-food processing plant, if the findings of the local zoning plan provide for such a possibility, and the area of land for agricultural biogas plants is not more than 1ha;
  • A special mode of localization of biogas plants above 1 MW – a localization resolution of the municipal council;
  • Exempting certain safe types of biomass from restrictive waste regulations;
  • easier management of the digestate product as fertilizer.

For more information on the law of July 13, 2023. On facilitating the preparation and implementation of investments in agricultural biogas plants, as well as their operation, can be found in a previous article: Law on Agricultural Biogas Plants and Biofuels.

Agricultural biogas plants – potential for use in Poland

Agricultural biogas plants in Poland have quite a lot of potential. According to estimates, it is expected that the introduction of the aforementioned The law will result in the construction of some 2,000 new facilities. As envisioned, the construction of 2,000 MW of installed capacity will contribute to:

  1. reducingCO2 emissions by 12.5 million tons per year;
  2. production of 60 million tons of digestate per year, which can replace ¼ of nitrogen fertilizers and ½ of potash fertilizers;
  3. Employment of 10,000 people operating agricultural biogas plants.

Agricultural biogas plants – register of agricultural biogas producers

According to the Law on Renewable Energy Sources, business activity in the field of agricultural biogas production is regulated under the provisions of the Law on Entrepreneurs and requires entry in a register kept by the Director General of the National Center for Agricultural Support (NEB).

With the entry into force of the Law of July 13, 2023. The NEB will publish on its website the revised “Conditions for obtaining an entry in the register of agricultural biogas producers and the rules for carrying out the activities covered by the entry,” as well as a new form of “Application for entry in the register of agricultural biogas producers.”

The center’s data shows that as of August 29, 2023. 129 entities with a total installed electrical capacity of more than 150.141 MWe were listed in the register of agricultural biogas producers.

Digestate from agricultural biogas plants

Agricultural biogas plants are characterized by the fact that the digestate produced in them has a high content of nutrients easily absorbed by plants. When used as a fertilizer, it has a beneficial effect on soil structure and can successfully replace mineral fertilizers, thus reducing production costs.

In addition, due to the high decomposition temperature of the substrates, digestate is a fertilizer free of weeds and pathogenic microorganisms. In addition, it does not emit unpleasant odors that could be a nuisance to nearby residents.

Agricultural biogas plants
Agricultural biogas plants - investment facilitation 1

Agricultural biogas plants – subsidized construction

Funding for the construction of an agricultural biogas plant is made possible through funds provided under the “Energy for the Countryside” program. Currently, due to the huge interest of farmers in RES investments, especially in agricultural biogas plants, the pool of funds under the first call in the program has been increased from PLN 100 million to PLN 500 million. Up to 65 percent can be obtained under the program. A grant for the construction of an agricultural biogas plant and a loan of up to 100 percent. eligible costs. We provided more information on this program in a previous article: The first installment of the “Energy for the Countryside” program has been launched.

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