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Assessment of mineral oil tax relief for synthetic fuels from biological methanation

At a glance

  • Project leader: Matthias Stucki
  • Deputy of project leader: René Itten
  • Project team: Sarah Wettstein
  • Project budget: CHF 19'542
  • Project status: completed
  • Funding partner: Federal government (Bundesamt für Umwelt BAFU)
  • Contact person: Matthias Stucki


The debates in 2004-2007 on the tax exemption of fuels from renewable raw materials focused mainly on 1st generation fuels. Consequently, the instruments are also geared to this type of fuel. At that time, however, the legislator made it possible for fuels from renewable energy sources to also benefit from the tax exemption. At the time the revised MinöStG and MinöStV came into force in 2007 and 2008, however, it was not foreseeable when such fuels would come onto the market. Due to the large number of possible production paths and fuels, it was decided within the department to gradually develop the methodology for standardised evaluation as soon as an application became more likely. In 2017, a first application was evaluated by OZD and the FOEN. Within the framework of the evaluation, the basis for a standardised evaluation of a P-t-H2 application was laid, based on preliminary work. Currently, an application for the production of methane has been submitted. In this plant, methane, produced from carbon dioxide and electrolytically produced hydrogen, is to be produced by means of biological methanation. Therefore an extension of the standardised evaluation is necessary.

In this project, the present application is now to be examined with regard to compliance with the ecological requirements regarding greenhouse gas emissions according to IPCC 2013 and the entire environmental impact according to the method of ecological scarcity. When assessing the environmental impact of the fuel produced, various electricity sources in hydrogen production and methanation will be taken into account, including CH grid mix, hydropower, wind power and electricity from the municipal waste incineration plant.
In a second step, the standardisation report "Leitfaden zur Standardisierung der Ökobilanzen von Biotreibstoffen im Rahmen der Mineralölsteuer-Verordnung" will be extended. All relevant aspects in the production of methane by means of catalytic and biological methanation will be included in the standardisation report.