The increases in oil and gas prices over the past years have led to a higher use of bioenergies, like wood pellets, firewood and briquettes in the German home heating sector as well as in applications that combine heat and power, such as biogas, gasification and biomass combustion plants.
The expanding demand for wood has left German companies increasingly dependent on pellets imported from overseas. A foreign company planning to enter the wood pellet market in Germany, however, must make sure that it offers wood products that fulfil the quality standards based on DIN plus standard (DIN 51731). In the area of biofuels, imports of biodiesel, vegetable oil and ethanol must fulfill the minimum quality criteria defined by DIN EN 14214 and E DIN 51605 standards. In addition, biofuels need a certificate as ''proof of sustainability'' from an approved sustainability authority in order to be eligible for tax deductions or contracts in Germany. This certificate ensures that biofuels fulfill the sustainability criteria laid down in the German sustainability Ordinance for Biofuel and Biomasse electricity (Biokraftstoff- und Biostrom- Nachhaltigkeitsverordnung). The German Federal Agency for Agriculture and Nutrition (BLE) provides information on the certification process and an updated list of the certification bodies in Germany.