Germany: 18 November 2023
MW Biomasse AG Sustainable Wood Energy Revolution in Bavaria
MW Biomasse AG, an association of local farmers and foresters in southern Upper Bavaria, is championing sustainable wood energy. They process forest residues into wood chips, supplying heat to communities via local networks. This eco-friendly approach replaces millions of liters of heating oil, saving 14,000 tonnes of CO2 annually, stabilizes heating prices, creates jobs and boosts regional development.
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MW Biomasse AG is the association of regional farmers and foresters in southern Upper Bavaria. The circle of shareholders is limited to the local machinery rings, forest owners’ associations and farmers and foresters. MW Biomasse AG is committed to marketing and creating sales markets for the forest residues of its shareholders. Residual forest wood is produced during timber harvesting in our domestic, sustainably managed forests and is not sold elsewhere. This includes crown and summit wood. The material is processed into wood chips directly on site and used in the nearby heating plants.
The heat produced supplies existing private or public buildings and even entire communities via local heating networks. For the construction of heating plants and local heating networks, operating companies are founded in which municipalities and interested citizens can participate.
In this way, MW Biomasse AG replaces more than five million litres of heating oil per year, thus saving around 14,000 tonnes of CO2. But it is not only the environment that benefits from the intelligent local heating solutions, but also the people and the region. Because in the time when the price of oil has doubled and the price of natural gas has increased fivefold, MW Biomasse AG has been able to keep the prices for local heating comparatively stable. The sustainably produced heat became more expensive by 11%-15%.
In addition, there are positive effects for the region. According to a study by the Austrian Biomass Association, the use of domestic biomass for heat supply clearly offers advantages for regional development. By replacing fossil fuels with sustainably produced domestic renewable fuels (e.g. wood chips, pellets), the direct regional added value is increased tenfold. From forest maintenance to timber transport, production of logs and wood chips to maintenance and operation of the heating plants, the tasks are taken over by the regional farmers and foresters. The employment intensity in the region is significantly increased. Eight times more jobs are created through bioenergy than through heating with fossil raw materials. At the same time, security of supply is increased because there is much less dependence on imported energy.
Especially in densely forested areas, such as in Upper Bavaria, wood energy contributes to the success of the heat transition. With the current state of technology, wood energy is the most important building block on the way to a CO2-neutral heat supply. A heating network enables the combination and integration of other renewable energies as soon as they are available on the market. Only if all regenerative possibilities are sustainably exploited will the heat transition succeed.
The population has long been aware of the positive aspects of wood-based heating networks. The citizens appreciate the price stability, the security of supply and the sustainability with which heat is generated from wood energy. In an Upper Bavarian community, MW Biomasse AG is currently planning a new heating plant. Before the planning for the plant and the heating network was completed, it became clear that the demand from the citizens was so great that the plant would have to produce four times the amount of heat. The new, larger heating plant is now being built at another location in the municipality and will be supplied exclusively with forest residues from the region. In addition, many households in other communities are currently being connected to existing heating networks. The interest among the population in sustainable heat from energy wood remains high!
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