Institute of

Farm Economics

Deputy Director


Kerstin Martens
Institute of Farm Economics

Bundesallee 63
38116 Braunschweig
Phone: +49 531 596 5102
Fax: +49 531 596 5199

Renewable Resources

Biogasproduction in Germany
Biogasproduction in Germany (© Thünen-Institut/Michael Welling)

In order to reduce the negative effects of fossil energy consumption, politics promote the use and the production of renewable raw materials. However, the question arises whether current bioenergy policies took the right direction: globally, food or fuel is the keyword for the discussion about the increasing use of land for the production of bioenergy. Economists attest that the cost for climate protection by bioenergy is too high when compared with alternative measures. Consumers in Germany complain about increasing prices for electricity due to the national energy policy towards renewable energies, producers about increasing competition with biogas, and environmentalists about negative consequences of increasing corn production. But even without political intervention, rising energy prices could increase the interest in the use of agricultural raw materials as a source of energy. Against this background, the question arises how this will affect agricultural commodity markets.

Where to go?
Where to go? (© fotolia/Volker Schlichting)

We analyse and evaluate the effects of different framework conditions on the competitiveness of renewable raw materials. We want to use these results to support politics and society to set ideal framework conditions for a sustainable and efficient bioenergy policy.

To achieve this goal we address the following questions:

  • How can the benefits of different types of bioenergy be evaluated for climate and energy policy?
  • Which consequences does the support of bioenergy have for the competitiveness of German agriculture?
  • How will technological innovations and modifications of the regulatory framework conditions affect the production of bioenergy?
  • How is the correlation between agricultural and energy markets (Bushel-barrel-correlation)?
  • Under which conditions is the use of agricultural raw materials competitive?

Currently, we analyse the correlation between agricultural and energy markets and compare the performance of wood chip and corn based bioenergy lines in terms of GHG-mitigation costs and primary energy savings.

Dossier - Bioenergie-Politik: in die falsche Richtung gefördert?


Zusätzliche Informationen zur Bioernergie finden Sie im Dossier.