The utilisation and development of environmentally friendly technologies are key factors for the achievement of the ambitious aims of EU to increase the share of renewable energies.
In this context the energy utilisation of biomass has an important role, as, in contrast to other renewables (wind and photovoltaic), biomass is storable and it is possible to produce storable bioenergy carrier.
However, at present the energy production from biomass is often economically inefficient, e.g. through an insufficient utilisation of heat energy produced in conventional biogas plants.
The conventional production of biomass for biogas plants is often eco-inefficient, e.g. due to the dominance of maize and the increased risk of soil erosion and nutrient losses. Furthermore, the competition with food-production on fertile land and the resulting increase of prices for land and agricultural products causes ethical and socio-economic problems.
Thus, the opening-up of abandoned natural and agricultural areas for the energy production is necessary. Renewable energy production with biomass should generate an adequate economic, environmental and social benefit. The DANUBENERGY project strives for this by:
•Production of a storable solid fuel with a highly energy-efficient process
•Utilisation of extensively produced biomass from riparian grassland areas and landscape management, which can neither be used in animal feeding nor in conventional energy conversion technologies
•Increasing the efficiency of distributed biogas or waste water treatment plants through the addition of a year-round heat sink
•Securing livelihood for small farmers in retreated areas through the creation of new income sources and regional added values with renewable energy production.
•European wide creation of awareness for environmentally-friendly renewable energy production