Leipzig, January 25, 2018 – Sustainable and versatile energy from biomass plays a balancing role in the transformation of the energy system and links different sectors such as electricity, heat, and mobility. The Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) is funding 15 new research projects with 6 million euros, which are primarily concerned with flexible energy generation and sector coupling.
Bioenergy plants are a key element in the transformation of the German energy market. Used selectively, they can balance the fluctuating renewable energy potential of the wind and sun.
The BMWi acknowledges this flexibility by funding 15 new projects in the "Biomass Energy Use" programme. The focus on the market determines the development of new plant components for biomass boilers and biogas plants, as well as the further development of existing plant capacities for the future, e.g. in the waste wood sector. In all funded projects, the climate objective in view is crucial to ensure that different residual and waste materials are used and that emissions are reduced.
One focus of the research projects is on the combined generation of electricity and heat in small-scale CHP systems (useful heat around 100 kW thermal). The coupling of biomass furnaces, such as a boiler in your home, with absorption heat pumps (see info box below) could, for example, save up to half the fuel compared to conventional boiler use.
Digitisation in the bioenergy sector is also becoming increasingly important. For example, the new projects are driving forward the development of demand-oriented and automatic control technology. The project teams are increasingly working on ways to process residual materials and waste from biomass. In addition, they are developing new methods for the production of industrial mixed pellets of different structure and shape or are looking for solutions for industrial applications in the high-temperature range.
The common goal of all research projects is to take a major step forward with bioenergy on the way to a balanced and integrated energy system. The growth in small and medium-sized enterprises, together with research institutions, is driving forward application and product-oriented research.