Module 8: Governance of biomass flows to influence essential drivers

Aim of the module

Stoffstrom-Governance, Raumwirksame Bioenergiepolitik als Rechtsproblem. Foto: A. Groeber

The module aims at analysing potential governance structures of bioenergy use in the regional, national and international context. Furthermore, the development of specific instruments for a sustainable governance of material flows is examined.


In the project "Spatially relevant bioenergy policy as a legal problem" (Vanessa Richarz) the extent to which biomass production is embedded in the actual law system will be examined. Based on this, it will be analysed if the cultivation of energy crops calls for legal requirements different from those applying to the traditional agricultural production. In this respect - with regard to the ecological and spatial effects of energy cropping - especially the law relating to water, soil, nature conservation, agriculture, regional planning and the law for the promotion of renewable energies will be taken into account.

The project "Concepts and Instruments for a Rational Bioenergy Policy – A New Institutional Economics Approach " (Alexandra Purkus) seeks to develop recommendations for a rational bioenergy policy approach, which strives for efficiency and sustainability in addressing the challenges of a complex allocative and regulative problem characterized by multiple market failures, conflicting policy aims, and severe information problems. The project's methodological approach is based on new institutional economics, to examine the implications of factors such as limited knowledge, transaction costs, path dependencies and political feasibility. First, sources of market and government failure in coordinating bioenergy allocation decisions are analyzed, followed by a discussion of the implications that different theoretical approaches have to offer for a rational bioenergy policy design. These insights are then applied to a case study of German and European bioenergy policy, leading up to the development of recommendations. Results are contrasted with recommendations based on neoclassical economics, to draw conclusions for a more realistic economic policy advice.


Purkus, A., Röder, M., Gawel, E., Thrän, D., Thornley , P. (2015). Handling Uncertainty in Bioenergy Policy Design – A Case Study Analysis of UK and German Bioelectricity Policy Instruments. Biomass and Bioenergy, in press,

Purkus, A., Röder, M., Gawel, E., Thrän, D., Thornley, P. (2014). Handling Uncertainty in Bioenergy Policy Design - A Case Study Analysis of UK and German Bioelectricity Policy Instruments. In: Papers of the 22nd European Biomass Conference. Setting the course for a biobased economy. Extracted from the Proceedings of the International Conference held in Hamburg, Germany, 23-26 June 2014, ed. C. Hoffmann, D. Baxter, K. Maniatis, A. Grassi, P. Helm. ETA-Florence Renewable Energies, Florence: 1441-1444.

Gawel, E., Purkus, A. (2013). Promoting the Market and System Integration of Renewable Energies through Premium Schemes – A Case Study of the German Market Premium. Energy Policy, 61 (2013): 599-609.
See also: UFZ Discussion Papers 4/2013 (671.3 KB)

Gawel, E., Purkus, A., Korte, K., Lehmann, P. (2013). Instrumente zur Förderung der Markt- und Systemintegration erneuerbarer Energien. Perspektiven einer Weiterentwicklung von Förderregime und Strommarktdesign, Viertjahreshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung, 82 (3): 123-136.

Gawel, E., Purkus, A. (2013). Die Marktprämie im EEG 2012: Ein sinnvoller Beitrag zur Markt- und Systemintegration erneuerbarer Energien? Zeitschrift für Energiewirtschaft, 37 (1): 43–61.
See also: UFZ Discussion Papers 12/2012 (723.4 KB)

Gawel, E., Purkus, A. (2012). Markt- und Systemintegration erneuerbarer Energien: Probleme der Marktprämie nach EEG 2012. Zeitschrift für Umweltrecht (ZUR), 11 (2012): 587-597.

Purkus, A., Gawel, E., Thrän, D. (2012). Bioenergy Governance between Market and Government Failures: A New Institutional Economics Perspective. UFZ-Discussion Papers 13/2012, Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research GmbH - UFZ, Leipzig, 28 pp.

Gawel, E., Purkus, A. (2012). Ökonomische Aspekte der Bioenergiepolitik. Zeitschrift für Umweltpolitik und Umweltrecht (ZfU), 35 (1): 29-59.

Gawel, E., Purkus, A. (2012). Auf der Suche nach einer nachhaltigen Bioenergiepolitik. Energiewirtschaftliche Tagesfragen, 62 (3):17-21.