Climate protection contribution of waste wood power plants

The German government declared that the 2020 climate protection targets of reducing CO2 emissions by 40 percent could not be achieved. An important key to reducing climate-damaging greenhouse gases is the generation of energy from climate-neutral renewable energy sources.

Currently, the share of renewable energies in electricity generation is approx. 33.3 percent and in heat generation approx. 13 percent. Besides wind, water and solar energy, biomass is one of the most important renewable energy sources. The Charter for Wood, initiated by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), balances that wood is currently one of the most important energy sources of the energy turnaround: approx. one quarter of the electricity and two thirds of the heat supply from renewable energies are based on wood or biomass. An important component of the energy supply from wood is currently provided by 75 waste wood power plants in Germany.

The power plants, which are distributed decentrally throughout Germany, show how climate protection, energy efficiency and resource conservation can go hand in hand. Wood is a sustainable raw material that binds carbon as it grows and thus removes CO2 from the atmosphere. The carbon remains bound even if products are made from the wood.

In Germany, approx. 8 million tons of waste wood are produced annually, especially in the packaging industry, in the construction and demolition sector and in municipal waste. These wastes are processed to the valuable secondary raw material by complex sorting and processing procedures. Depending on the pollutant load, the waste wood chips can be used either for the production of chipboard or for electricity and heat production.

Waste wood replaces fossil fuels such as coal, gas or oil. Approximately 6-8 million tons of CO2 are saved every year. tons of CO2 are avoided. “The German waste wood power plants make an important contribution to climate protection”, Dieter Uffmann, Chairman of the Board of the Federal Association of Waste Wood Processors and Recyclers (BAV – Bundesverband der Altholzaufbereiter und -verwerter e.V.), stated.

Waste wood biomass power plants also have the great advantage that, in contrast to wind or solar power plants, they are capable of withstanding base loads, i.e. that they can provide electrical energy permanently and reliably. In Germany, they also perform an important disposal function, since their specific filter and plant technology prevents emissions and converts waste wood into energy with a very high degree of efficiency.

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