Heating with solid biomass such as wood chips or wood pellets

We have a comparatively warm winter in Germany, but even for the toughest of us the heating requirement is higher than during the bright season. The woody bioenergy sources offer a regenerative alternative to the fossil classics in the heating market. Heating with wood chips or wood pellets not only promises a particularly cozy warmth experience, but is usually even significantly cheaper than the use of heating oil or natural gas. The first article in the Article series to strengthen bioenergy advertises the greater use of renewable wood energy. Let us as consumers directly increase the demand for bioenergy sources.

Prices for wood chips and wood pellets

The solid bioenergy source wood is currently the only bioenergy source that can compete with fossil fuels from an economic point of view. Wood chips, wood pellets or firewood even manage to significantly undercut the prices for heating oil and natural gas. In addition, the price of heating oil and natural gas is currently increasing by around 5 percent per year, while the price of wood pellets is only increasing by 3 percent. The price difference is therefore likely to develop even more positively in the medium term.

The graphic at the beginning of the article is from CARMEN eV and impressively illustrates the price advantage that heating with wood-like solid fuels currently offers.

In a previous article I did Wood pellets and wood chips as a renewable energy source compared directly and listed some advantages and disadvantages of both energy sources.

Reduce operating costs with wood chips or pellets and contribute to climate protection

In combination with good thermal insulation, heating with pellets and wood chips is an interesting possibility, especially for single-family houses, to reduce energy costs and actively contribute to climate protection.

Renewable heat is often referred to as a sleeping giant because it has so far played a much smaller role compared to the renewable electricity market. For example, only around 10 percent of Germany's heating and cooling needs are currently covered by renewable energies. The majority of the heat consumption will continue to be secured with coal, heating oil and natural gas.

The British do it before and promote renewable heat since the end of 2011 more intensively than is possible in Germany with the current EEWärmeG. The heating market is a great development opportunity, especially for bioenergy.

Image for article Heating with wood chips and pellets
Wood energy: save costs, support climate protection and enjoy cozy warmth

What can I do to increase my bioenergy share when heating?

A good question that requires pragmatic suggestions. Here are some suggestions:

1. Find out about suppliers and prices for wood chips or wood pellets in your region.

The Internet portal Pelletshome provides information about the pellet industry in the German-speaking countries Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Here you will find comprehensive information on current price developments and suppliers of pellets and pellet heating systems. A clear and well-maintained portal that I would be happy to recommend.

2. If you live in your own home, you can find out about the options for installing a fireplace or pellet stove.

Here you will find the link to the Firewood Germany, where you can find out about the various options for heating with wood. The site also offers a comprehensive database of suppliers for pellets, wood briquettes and wood chips.

3. Ask your heating supplier whether he offers eco tariffs based on the use of renewable energies.

Finally, a short film by the German Pellet Institute (DEPI), which offers a clear insight into the European quality label for pellets "ENplus".

Please help us to significantly increase the share of renewable energies in the heating sector too.

4 comments on “Heating with solid biomass like wood chips or wood pellets”

  1. andreas plagmann

    Hello Mr. Kirchner,
    since I have concentrated on the energy plant Sida, I read with
    Enthusiasm your article.
    Now I'm still looking for colleagues because I want to implement an idea
    which has not yet been found on the green energy market.
    From planting to heating with partial electricity generation in one
    Pellet heating system at a one-time price for 20 years
    If you are interested, I can explain this concept to you
    useful address http://www.oegut.at/de/themen/energie/vollkostenvergleich-heizsysteme-efh.php

  2. Hello Mr. Plagmann, if you would like, you can introduce the concept and the Sida in a guest article.

    Using wood energy can already be a sensible alternative today to reduce heating costs and contribute to the energy transition. If the Sida teases out further potential as an energy plant, then this is definitely interesting for readers who are rethinking their current energy sources. When looking at over 20 years, we also have a period that has become the standard for decentralized bioenergy projects in Germany.

  3. Christian Thiel

    Dear Ron
    Heating with wood is considered climate neutral because the plant has previously removed the carbon from the atmosphere. Fossil coal was also formed in this way, but this is classified as harmful to the climate. Where's the logic? The difference lies in the time the carbon is set. Wood as a renewable raw material can perhaps fix the carbon for a few decades to centuries, but the plant still makes an important contribution, because we are running out of time.

    I would like a message if you answer.
    Greetings from Christian

  4. I think that's exactly the point why the combustion of solid biomass (wood pellets, wood chips, etc.) is considered so positive and is considered bioenergy to the family of renewable energies. Solid bioenergy only releases CO2 that was removed from the atmosphere in human periods. This makes this short-term carbon cycle somewhat neutral. The combustion of fossil-bound carbon from organisms that lived millions of years ago in a few hundred years is no longer a plus-minus-zero in human periods. But I will probably break open doors with you with this argument.

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