Electricity instead of milk – Bauer Wiese and the biogas boom


Welze (dpa) – Ulrich Wiese stands proudly between the walls of the meter-high concrete pools. In a few weeks almost nothing will be visible from the mighty tanks. “The gaps are still filled with soil,” says Wiese. The 42-year-old farmer has decided: Instead of milk, he will produce electricity in the future. One of around 300 biogas plants in Lower Saxony is being built on his land. “We also earn our money with potatoes, but we had to decide: renew the cowshed or start something new.”

Picture: Money 

The new Renewable Energy Sources Act – EEG for short – finally convinced the farmer from Welze near Hanover: the remaining 16 cows were abolished and the building application for the plant made. Since August 2004, the EEG has been securing a fixed purchase price for the generated electricity for operators of biogas plants for 20 years. “20 years of security, that’s something you appreciate in our industry,” explains Bauer Wiese. For the kilowatt-hour of electricity generated from manure and maize silage, the farmer gets at least 11.50 cents. With the electricity from Wieses Biogas can be supplied to two villages.

In principle, says Bauer Wiese, a biogas plant is a huge cow. Biomass such as manure and corn silage is “digested” by bacteria in large fermentation tanks. With the released methane, engines can be operated that generate electricity by means of generators. The technology of the plants has improved enormously in recent years, says the biogas expert of the Lower Saxony Ministry of Agriculture, Gerd Höher.

So biogas is also a job engine, the order books of plant manufacturers are full. There are waiting lists of one year or more, says Höher. With the support of the EEG, the Federal Government intends to increase the share of renewable energies to at least one fifth by 2020.

“We hope to make money in five to six years,” says Wiese. The loans for the plant are then far from being replaced: “A quarter of a million is in the system,” says Wiese. “It’s up to the whole farm and the family.” Without the bank, the project would be unthinkable.

Like Ulrich Wiese, many farmers are concerned, explains expert Höher. “This is an income alternative for farmers.” A “golden nose” will hardly earn a farmer, says Höher. But as a second pillar, it was always worth it. The number of plants in the country will double in the next few years, says Höher. “We are experiencing a real boom in biogas.”

So that nobody takes over, offer country and associations advice. But there is no money. Biogas plants would not be supported by the land, says Höher. Only the EEG give financial security. And the investments are huge: “A medium-sized plant costs quickly 1.5 million euros,” says Höher. Often several farmers would join forces to operate a larger facility. Meadow also gets help: A neighbor also provides maize silage, from the brother-in-law comes manure from pig breeding. Wiese cultivates corn on eleven hectares for the plant in sight of the village.

But by no means all are looking forward to the stream-builders. “There are definitely acceptance problems,” says expert Höher. Above all, neighbors worried about stink and filth. But Higher gives the all-clear: If any manure would be used, they would come in closed tanks and would be airtight in the fermentation tanks.

In Welze at the beginning there were also many objections to Ulrich Wiese’s installation: “They were afraid of smell and driving.” Finally, the raw material must be brought to the plant. “We were able to calm everyone down,” says the electricity farmer. He had visited together with residents a running plant: “There stinks nothing.”



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Even so, the Greek risk premium exceeds 700 basis points. That is, it is subject to conditions (more than 8% interest for a debt that almost doubles its GDP) that make it almost impossible to pay . And all that because the Greeks are bad and they chose a stinking party like Syriza. It does not matter that the debt was generated when good parties governed.

Spain is almost the opposite case . Here in 2011 we chose well . Since then the debt has increased almost 50% and already exceeds 100% of GDP. But although in the first half of 2012 the risk premium shot up to over 600 basis points, the markets soon understood that we were going to be good and they placed us at a very reasonable one hundred and a few points. We can maintain an uncontrolled deficit and continue to borrow. Moreover, those fines that are foreseen if the deficit is breached are postponed until after the June elections .

If the Spaniards happen to vote badly , vote for one of the plagued parties, there will be a fine, the risk premium will skyrocket and there will be no way to pay that debt that was generated in times when good parties governed. And the winner, if he manages to form a government, will have to be docile. May he learn from Tsipras!

It’s what low interest rates have . It seems that it does not matter to get into debt. But they are only low while governing who has to govern .

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Verdict: BGH tipping fee savings loans

Bausparer who have paid a fee for the use of their loan may hope to get their money back. The Bundesgerichtshof (BGH) said appropriate clauses inadmissible.

The Federal Court (BGH) in Karlsruhe flipped the earlier raised by many building societies charge for building loans. Loan fees were solely the administrative burden on building societies and should not be passed on to customers, therefore, according to the announced on Tuesday verdict. As so many customers on repayment of the fees of up to two percent of the loan amount are still unclear.

The loan fee fell far on when Bausparer takes the credit claim – in addition to interest. According to the umbrella organizations, however, does not see the 20 building societies in their current rates, the fee currently. She used but widely used, according to the plaintiff NRW consumer.

finished Other methods compared

So can benefit customers with an older contract that want to apply for a loan before or have paid the fee before not too long ago. Who can claim back money from his building society depends on the limitation periods in this particular case from (Az. XI ZR 552/15).

In order to achieve a principle judgment, the Consumer Association of North Rhine-Westphalia had sued the largest German Bausparkasse Schwaebisch Hall because of a clause to a senior fare.

Originally, the Supreme Court should also have two complaints of home savings against W├╝stenrot negotiate. In both cases, the plaintiffs minute over. W├╝stenrot said to you on request, it had been agreed on a comparison and disclosed. The one complaint in all courts was unsuccessful. In the other, the plaintiffs lost on appeal.

For building societies, BGH attorney Reiner Hall argued that savings loans against real estate loans have special advantages. For example, could pay back the money borrowed at no extra charge before the end of term savings customers. These benefits would come at a price. For customers, it did not matter whether they paid them only on the interest or even a fee.

The Federal Court of Justice did not follow. As for lending fee if it were a judicial review subject to so-called price side agreement. This must be understood so that you confront any specific contractual consideration.

Yield: savers must take more and more risks

The fee is also different from the statutory model for loan agreements, which provide for a maturity-related interest, a non-term-dependent element. In particular, they will not be charged in the overall interests of the savings community as it does not contribute to ensuring the functioning of the building savings system. They will also not be offset by benefits to individual customers. Rather, these stood considerable disadvantages compared to such as the acquisition fee.

For ordinary credit agreements, the Supreme Court in 2014 ruled that banks can charge no processing fee because they thus pass on internal costs unduly on customers.

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