pan SRUC seminar by Melf Ehlers, James Hutton Institute on 5th of June 2014.
Germany is currently the country with the highest installed electrical capacity of on-farm anaerobic digestion plants. The growth of Germany’s on-farm anaerobic digestion sector is often attributed to favourable electricity feed-in tariffs. This is an insufficient explanation, among others because farmers invested in anaerobic digestion already before the introduction of such tariffs. The presentation examines the initiation and accomplishment of investments in anaerobic digestion from 1980 to 2008 in Germany, drawing on time series and case study research. For the accomplishment of investments institutionalisation of advice, engineering standards, finance, feedstock supply and planning regulation became increasingly important. In the early years, initiation depended on entrepreneurial aspirations to implement something novel in uncertain environments, whereas in later years largely institutionalised economic expectations relative to farm characteristics became more decisive