Further enhancement of biogas production in Vorarlberg and its use over the natural gas grid

Further enhancement of biogas production in Vorarlberg with the possible use over the natural gas grid; analysis of the potential availability of fermentation substrates; scenarios for the increase of production capacities in combination with existing plants; technical blueprint of realistic scenarios; economic feasibility of the described scenarios.

Short Description




The central goal of this project is to enhance the production and use of biogas in Vorarlberg. There are 27 existing biogas plants with a low average size. Future possibilities are the feeding into the natural gas grid and direct use for vehicles. To enable such new utilisation paths, it is necessary to further develop the gas production structures at certain spots. The project also supports existing biogas plants by offering them a new utilisation strategy after the end of their subsidised electricity generation (with no full use of heat energy). The new strategy will combine old and new plants to reach a critical size for the common upgrading of fermentation gas and tries to connect them by a micro-grid.

Based on a careful analysis of the availability of fermentation substrates (quantity, quality, location), different development scenarios will described. Those scenarios can include the enhancement of existing plants or the construction of new plants. Increasing the production capacities in a certain region is a precondition to enable the upgrading of fermentation gas (Milestone 1).

A draft blueprint will be technically formulated and its economic feasibility examined. Additionally an appropriate substrate logistics will be suggested to ensure optimal supply and distribution of the end product. Based on this detailed planning phase the best solution will be recommended (Milestone 2).

Discussions with stakeholders will be held and additional considerations on the embedding of the scenarios in the regional framework reflected. The results will be summarized in the final report as follows:

  • Overview and description of the available substrates, their origin, quality and prize
  • Data on possibilities and limits for an increased use of arable land and meadows for the production of biomass
  • Feasibility of an increased biogas production including locations and cluster plans for the common upgrading of biogas in Vorarlberg
  • Technical blueprint of the most realistic scenarios in some variations
  • Economic feasibility of the described scenarios
  • Discussion of an improved substrate logistics for the optimisation of the chosen plant location
  • Key figures on financial outcome or need for subsidies as basis for investment decisions
  • Proposals for new operators for biogas plants and for the central biogas upgrading plant

Project Partners

Project management

Dr. Richard Dietrich
NLE - Büro für Naturbewirtschaftung und ländliche Entwicklung (RMRD - Resource Management and Rural Development)

Project or cooperation partner

  • Land Vorarlberg - Wirtschaftsabteilung
  • Vorarlberger Erdgas (VEG)
  • Landwirtschaftskammer Vorarlberg
    Mag. Matyas Scheibler
  • ÖVAF, Wien

Contact Address

Dr. Richard Dietrich
NLE - Büro für Naturbewirtschaftung und ländliche Entwicklung (RMRD - Resource Management and Rural Development)
Lerchenauerstr. 45
A-6923 Lauterach
Tel.: +43 5574 63929
E-Mail: office@nle.at
Internet: www.nle.at