While for wind, solar energy or hydropower, energy supply happens directly from the source to the wind wheels, hydropower turbines or solar panels, in the case of biogas, energy production cannot directly take from the energy source, organic matter, but depends on the institutional structures and farmers′ practices involved for making energy available. With the production of bioenergy in rural areas, practices within agriculture are transformed, requiring new ways of organizing production processes. Research has left the question largely unanswered of how agricultural biogas production and use are – and can best be – organized within rural society. Which kinds of social organization exist, how are these embedded in existing agricultural institutions and practices, and how do these systems function? Under which conditions may the different kinds of social organization of biogas production and use work sustainably? This introduction article to the Special Issue “The social organization of agricultural biogas production and use” presents a framework for analysing the different kinds of social organization of biogas production and use presented hereafter. Analysis parameters are the supply network, distribution network, distribution of benefits, social boundaries of the system (accessibility) and scale. Using these parameters, the Special Issue articles are outlined.