Support from EnviTec Service throughout the certification process

First SURE certification for Biogas Fibbe GmbH & Co. KG

1 February 2022 The new year has got off to a certifiably good start: with the first sustainability certification completed according to the Sustainable Resources Verification Scheme (SURE), EnviTec Biogas, leading Environmental Verifier Organisation Uppenkamp & Partner and Biogas Fibbe GmbH & Co. KG have passed their first joint assessment with flying colours.

The EnviTec Biogas Group is one of the first companies in Germany to offer biogas plant operators a professional support package for the biomass sustainability certification process. “From 1 January 2022, the auditing system becomes mandatory for biogas plants in the power and heating sector whose installed thermal capacity exceeds 2 MW,” comments Gabriele Schumacher, who manages the sustainability certification programme at EnviTec. SURE is one of the most important instruments for documenting compliance with the requirements from ‘RED II’, the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive, Schumacher explains.

As the very first plant to apply for certification, Merzen-based Biogas Fibbe GmbH & Co. KG was keen to ensure it had made complete and careful preparations. Schumacher: “All of the documentation to be submitted, from notes on the plant’s supplier structure to details of legal conditions such as the arable land status of the supplier’s area under cultivation as well as many of the other records requested were all provided in good time by our customer.” The biogas plant itself started operations in 2011 with a nominal output of 549 kW and has since been flexibilised with a total of two CHP units, with 100% of the power generated being fed into the electrical grid. Plant owner Bernhard Fibbe: “Thanks to the excellent teamwork from EnviTec and Uppenkamp, we obtained our initial SURE certification in just two months.”

The EU’s RED II Directive specifies a set of criteria that affected plant operators in the biomass energy sector must fulfil in order to ensure the sustainability of the biomass used and produced, accurate volume accounting, mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and – last but not least – energy efficiency. All plants using biogas for power generation and for heating or refrigeration are now required to complete a RED II audit once their installed thermal capacity exceeds 2 MW. “Demand for our administrative support package is rising fast,” comments Schumacher, with several other customers now also making enquiries.

From 1 January 2022, biogas plants must be fully documented – and that means fully certified. Schumacher: “Network operators will now be requesting proof of this at the end of every year.” “Apart from fulfilling our legal obligations, we also see this as a good medium-term opportunity to expand the regional heating market while also ensuring that climate neutrality can also be achieved locally,” adds Bernhard Fibbe.

EnviTec Biogas offers a full package of administrative services to support the certification process. Schumacher: “We also welcome the opportunity to work with SURE-accredited environmental appraisers recommended by our operators, who are familiar with the respective biogas plant.” Schumacher also highlights the importance of identifying any potential weak points as soon as possible in order to ensure timely compliance with legal documentation requirements. Accordingly, all of the paperwork should be prepared in good time, since the deadline has now been extended to 30 June 2022. Depending on the scope of work involved, total certification costs will typically run to EUR 5,000–6,000. Yet this is a worthwhile investment: the energy market of the future now faces the challenge of ensuring a reliable electricity supply while simultaneously ensuring the long-term generation and supply of the vast majority of the power needed from renewable energy sources – solar and wind power, thermal energy, hydropower and biomass. Energy suppliers’ demand for sustainably certified electricity – including power from biogas plants – is therefore set to increase.

Alongside SURE, EnviTec also offers support for the certification process used for the similar REDcert standard, a system that specialises in the certification of green biomethane. In some circumstances, dual certification to REDcert and SURE may be necessary in the case of biogas plants that produce biomethane for the fuels market as well as biogas for electricity generation and heating. However, this currently applies only if a CHP unit rated at >2 MW is generating heat and power within the biogas plant. In this case, the biomethane from the biogas upgrading plant used to produce fuel must be certified to REDcert-EU, while the CHP unit must instead have SURE certification.

For further information about the certification systems, please visit:

https://sure-system.org/en/
https://www.redcert.org

About EnviTec Biogas

EnviTec Biogas AG covers the entire value-added chain for the production of biogas. This includes the planning and turnkey construction of biogas facilities and biogas conditioning plants as well as the commissioning of such plants. If required, the company provides biological and technical services and offers operational management. EnviTec operates 75 of its own plants, making it one of the largest producers of biogas in Germany. Its business activities also include the direct marketing of processed biomethane as well as electricity and control energy marketing. The company is active in 16 countries worldwide with its own companies, sales offices, strategic alliances and joint ventures. In 2020, the EnviTec Group generated sales of EUR 192.3 million and EBT of EUR 17.2 million. The Group currently employs a total of more than 500 people. EnviTec Biogas AG has been listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since July 2007.

Contact:
Katrin Hackfort
EnviTec Biogas AG
Tel.: +49 25 74 88 88 - 810
Email: k.hackfort@envitec-biogas.de