Project meeting of STEP at the site of the company ATS - Agro Trading & Solutions in Hardegsen (Photo: DBFZ)

Strategy development

Project ID 03KB016

Wood Cascades - Regional concepts for the expansion of wooden bio energy supply – Development of a sustainable and energy efficient strategy under special focus of wood cascades utilization

Landscape conservation wood (Photo: DBFZ)


  • 01.07.2009 – 30.09.2012


Altenkesseler Straße 17, Geb. A1
66115 Saarbrücken

Prof. Frank Baur – project leader
Telephone: +40 (0) 681 844 972-59

Bernhard Wern – direct contact
Telephone: +49 (0) 681 844 972-74       


03KB016B - Wald-Consult Ltd.
03KB016C - ifeu – Institute for Energy and Environmental Research Heidelberg

Associated partners

Cooperation partners



Available only in German.


A rising demand leads to a gap of 30°million°m³ of wood in the year 2020. Furthermore, the expansive energy demand meets on an expansive market of wood product industry. The increased consumption of wood in the construction sector, chemical industry and in the wood product industry, additionally the increased demand in the energy area for a low climate impact energy supply are leading to a necessity for an overall strategy for the usage of the resource wood. The German government is willing to increase the energy supply with bioenergy and especially wood! Under the aspect of utilization efficiency the upstream arrangement of one or more material utilization steps should be prioritized to the energetic utilization. Due to this facts, the cascade utilization of wood is discussed as a solution in Germany.

But how can the cascade utilization of wood be realized in a regional context? Are there any regional or supra-regional strategies for the expansion of energetic wood utilization? Is it a fact, that the increase of energy out of the raw material wood has to be taken place only after an utilization as a material? And what does it mean in terms of regional politics and policies?

The analyzed area is the German federal state Saarland. Two wood products manufacturer and some biomass plants have a site this region. With this in mind the project analyses process chains and life cycles of wood utilizations with the special focus of energetic usage of the resource in comparison to alternative utilization ways. The existing situation of the wood market in the region will be evaluated on economical, ecological and social terms. “Free potentials” of wood in the region will be also analyzed concerning the possibilities of “mobilization” and the importance in the whole system. The results are applied and approved in another region of Germany aiming at a general validity and dissemination of the results.


The aim of the project is a new evaluation in terms of coexistence between energetic and material wood utilization. The project will develop a concept for a wood platform which involves wood from different sources and the coexistence of different utilization ways. Additionally a concept for the integration of agro-wood in the existing wood supply will be developed. After establishing the wood platform expansion in the sectors “green chemistry” and fuel production are planned.



  • Assessment of available wood potential (in the catchment area of the wood product industry)
  • Description of the actual usage and future demand
  • Modeling and evaluation of wood process chains and life cycles with the software Umberto
  • Preparation of optimization potential in the area of process integrated cycles
  • Creation of a regional material flow management in the area of wood for the region Saarland
  • Creation of a wood platform as a network of excellence in the field of wood product manufacturer, wood suppliers and wood facility operators
  • Assessment of the process chain suitability of wood from short rotation coppice
  • Display of the federal relevance of the developed information incl. measure package


IIWH investigated sustained available wood potentials, the current wood-use, prospective wood-demand and economic limiting factors relating to wood potentials in the model-region. Furthermore a socio-economic analysis of the wood and forest cluster containing the wood-based panel and sawmilling industry was carried out. Additionally a concept for the integration of wood from short rotation coppices in the existing wood supply was developed and the establishment of short rotation coppices, considering regional restrictions, were explored.


IFEU investigates the environmental impacts of a strategy for a cascade utilization of wood with the means of life cycle assessment. In this context, the equivalent products made out of other materials as well as the equivalent net energy from fossil energy carriers will be taken into account. Apart from forest wood, also short rotation wood is analysed.



  • Analysis of the current market wood potential including of the current utilization way and framework
  • Lifecycle analysis based evaluation of the different process chains of wood with the software Umberto
  • Integration of wood from short rotation coppice and wood residues in the process chains
  • Evaluation of the regional added value
  • Regional material flow management in the model region Saarland with the establishment of a wood platform
  • Derivation of recommendations for action
  • The integration of a supra-regional board of advisors secures the scientific usability of the results in practice


  • sustained, available wood potentials and regional-specific restrictions
  • socio-economic analysis of the forest and wood-based cluster concerning the wood-based panels and sawmilling industries
  • implementation of short-rotation coppices as a wood potential under regional conditions


  • Modelling of wood process chains with specialised life cycle assessment software
  • Overall environmental evaluation of wood products and wood cascades and demonstration of optimisation potentials
  • Participation in assessing sustainable wood potentials



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