Unreasonable demands affecting biogas investments

Biogas unit investments in Greece are being affected, even put on hold, as a result of  unreasonable demands set by regional authorities in certain parts of the country, yet again highlighting the crippling effect of bureaucratic procedures on local business practices.

Regional authorities in some parts of Greece are demanding that biogas investors install pasteurization facilities for animal by-products at their units. This demand could derail various biogas unit development plans as investment costs are sure to rise sharply, making the investments unsustainable.

Vioenergia Sohou, one local biogas investor being affected by the demands, has recruited the support of SPEV, a biogas producers and project support association, as well as Kiefer, which conducted a related study for the enterprise, and urged for logic to prevail in a request forwarded to regional authorities in central Macedonian, northern Greece. The biogas producer has also appealed to the energy ministry for legal framework amendments.

Installation of pasteurization facilities at biogas units is not required in any advanced EU member state, as is made clear in a related EU directive also distributed to Greece.

Interestingly, previous biogas units operating in other Greece regions, including Karditsa and Kozani, gained their operating licenses without needing to maintain pasteurization facilities.

Market officials specialized in the sector told energypress that demands being imposed on biogas investors for the installation of pasteurization facilities by some of the country’s regional authorities, including those of central Macedonia, represent a misinterpretation of the legal framework.