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Energy and heating power plants in Brandenburg, Germany

Edited by Tommi Väisänen




  1. Introduction
  2. Products and Technology
  3. Market
  4. Policy Measures
  5. Evaluation
  6. References



1.      Introduction

The Kyoto Protocol includes that Germany will reduce their carbon values until 2020 under 20% of the value in the year 1980. Bioenergy is a one of the possibilities how to reduce this values and how they can get a higher share of energy production. Wood, as a resource for biomass, has a large share on bioenergy production, especially in the heating sector. (Mühlenhoff (2012)) In view of Kyoto Protocol Brandenburg, a state in eastern Germany, declares their own aims to reach that goals. Until 2020 20 % of the primary energy should be renewable and the emission of greenhouse gases reduced by 40 % from 1990(Biomass Strategy of the Land Brandenburg)     . Also, Biomass should be the second highest Energy producer after wind. To reach that goals the government developed a strategy paper one for 2020 and later one for 2030. This Assignment is only a short look on the Bioenergy production in Brandenburg, which is produced by wood, especially on Power and Heating plants. (Kenkemann (2010), MWELB (2012))


2.      Products and Technology

Figure 1 shows that there are a lot of wood products they can be used for Bioenergy. If the primary use of forest wood is more industrial, its possible to take the sawdust (in the picture is called “Industrierestholz”) and also already used old wood, for example furniture (“Altholz”). Another way is to use the wood directly from the forest. This could be only small trees by precommercial thinning (“Waldrestholz und Landschaftspflegeholz”) or large ones (“Rohholz”). A third way is to produce wood througt a plantation (“Kurzumtriebsplantagen”). This means to plant fast growing Species, for example willow, poplar or robinia, and harvesting them from time to time. (Mühlenhoff et all (2014))

All kind of these wood will be collected and processed to smaller units as you can see even in the lower part of figure 1. These chips and pellets going to be collected in some storage rooms. At the heating plants they get burned and heat water. This water goes to some households.  If it is also included a power plant, there will be also turbine, which generate electricity through a generator. The full procedure of the powerplants is shown in figure 2. (Mühlenhoff et all (2014))



Figure 1- Wood Products for Biomass energy (Mühlenhoff (2014))


Figure 2 - System of a Energy and Heating power plant (Mühlenhoff (2018))


3.      Market

Figure 3 and 4 from the “Energie- und Klimaschutzatlas Brandenburg” shows the current situation. Figure 3 depict the places of the 28 Powerplants based on wood biomass or other kind of biomass. There are different kinds of plants. Some of the plants are only used for heating and some also for production of energy. The second picture, figure 4, represents the amount of little heat plants and installations on the left bar. The right bar shows the power in kW of all heat plants per county. The sum of produced energy for the 28 powerplants is 147.677 kW and for the little heating plants is 184322 kW.

The study of Bike at al (2006), which is also puplished in Kinkemann (2010), shows the potential of wood biomass in Brandenburg. Assuming that the previous numbers have been reached, he calculates an unused potential of 2026 for 0,244 Mio. t (3,50 PJ) only forest wood used for biomass energy. In Addition to that the potential of wood waste from industry was in 2006 around 4,41 PJ. For used wood and forest plantations there are no exact informations. However, it is spoken of additionally available resources.

In total share of bioenergy will increace because bioenergy in primary energy consumption was 25.6 PJ in 2004 and it should increase up to 49 PJ in 2020(Biomass Strategy of the Land Brandenburg). How to achieve that goal is not only by developing the industry but more to increase of energy efficiency through heat cogeneration, for example.

Figure 3 - Biomass plants (EKS (2018))


Figure 4 -Small Heating Installations based on wood (EKS (2018))

They are no special cost of wood products in Brandenburg. Mühlenhoff et all (2014) says for whole Germany, that there are different kinds of pellets and chips. Also, the price depends on the amount you need and the size of the plant. In 2013 the price by average of all pellets is around 250€/t. The average price of chips in 2013 for a plant less than 1 MW is 130 €/t and plants bigger than 1 MW is 80 €/t.

4.      Policy Measures

Kenkemann (2010) says that the production of Energy and Heating with plants based on biomass is financed mostly through the renewable energy law (“EEG”). It’s so regulated that the producer gets a whole cost recovery and through a bonus system an additional investment support. This applies throughout Germany. The following are relevant funding programs of Brandenburg.

The “Ren-Plus” Directive aims to promote the introduction and development of new technologies. This involves expanding the share of plants through biomass but also reducing carbon and nitrogen values. Furthermore, local supply chains and decentralized energy production should be promoted. The strengthening of regional circles, energy savings and the use of regenerative energies should receive benefits. In Collaboration with European commission for rural development there are possibilities for regions, which specify there plans for biomass plants, to get some grants. In Addition, there are still some few more programs for improving technologie, for example partnerships with universities on Brandenburg, some campaigns to promote biomass and already used wood and woodwaste from the industry. (Kenkmann[2010])


5.      Evaluation

Generally, the goals of Brandenburg for 2020 are reached. In view of this, the policies are probably successful. The increasing number of wood-fired power plants and smaller heating stations also promotes this impression. (MWELB (2012))

Nevertheless, there is still a potential, which is unused. It would be important to open this potential further to promote the market. This seems more and more important. Not only because of the goals on 2030. Brandenburg is considered one of the weaker structures in Germany and with the exit from coal a profound structural change is ahead of it. Expanding bioenergy would not only reduce dependence on coal but would also strengthen the rural region. This means it would not only affect the energy policy. There will be some consequences for the labor market, too.


6.      References

Biomass Strategy of the Land Brandenburg., visited on 1.2.2019.

Energie- und Klimaschutzatlas Brandenburg [EKS] (2018):, visited on 22.01.2019

Kenkmann, Tanja (2010): Biomassestrategie des Landes Brandenburg, Ministerium für Umwelt, Gesundheit und Verbraucherschutz des Landes Brandenburg,, visited on 22.01.2019

Ministerium für Wirtschaft und Europaangelegenheiten des Landes Brandenburg [MWELB] (2012): Energiestrategie 2030 des Landes Brandenburg, Ministerium für Wirtschaft und Europaangelegenheiten des Landes Brandenburg, visited on 22.01.2019

Mühlenhoff, Jörg; Boenik, Nils et al- (2014): Holzenergie in Deutschland Status Quo und Potenziale, Renews Spezial Sonderausgabe/ Februar 2014,, visited on 22.01.2019


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