Due to the steadily rising number of biomass plants and district heating plants and due to the development on the fossile heating market (costs of crude oil and natural gas) and consequently an increasing installation of biomass vessels wood as a means of heating material has become scarce. At the same time only 50% of the annual increase of wood are used in Austria although it is one of the most densely wooded countries. This can be explained with the socio-political development on the one hand and the wood owners´ lack of knowledge on the other hand. There is a high potential especially in small wooden areas (< 200 ha) in which with just 50% only half of the utmost increase is used.
In order to get hold of these existing but dormant resources of wood and bringing an energy wood sortiment on the market a number of additional measures have to be taken. Besides the operating models and job offers resulting from a previous project the focussing and flow of quantity must be improved to process the different heating materials with minimal cost and energy. The starting point of this concept is to optimize the logistic and processing costs by introducing regionally relevant protagonists.
It is in the aim of this project to fix the most suitable sites with the help of theoretical criteria (flow of goods, best radius of transport, infrastructure etc.) and then to overlap or compare them with the existing structures (available capacities of storing on the customers sides, abandoned sites of saw mills, empty infrastructures, etc.). Thus an optimum should be reached. Not everywhere in Styria there is the same amount and sales potential of energy sortiment. Therefore this project also examines alternatives for a safe supply of energy. Possibilities regarding the use of old and left over wood to make alternative products like grass or whole plant pellets are being examined in a feasibility study, Moreover two scheduled product innovations and two further energy service job offers are being investigated in a market analysis. In order to gain more knowledge about the actual energy efficiency of the sortiment of wood biomass an energy survey for the relevant group of products will be drawn up and compared with other (regional and transregional transport) scenarios.
Through the established partners research institutions as well as consulting firms and highly innovative service enterprises will be involved. The regional protagonists in the procuring of wood will be serviced by the Waldverband Steiermark GmbH with its regional units and the regional branches of the "Maschinenring". Two representatives of thermal power stations provide the structures for the numerous consumers. Smaller power stations and private households will be addressed by Regionalenergie Steiermark and the Styrian Chamber of Agriculture. In the first phase of the project the surveys will be coordinated in regard of possible common interests. After the data acquisition and investigation of literature analyses and evaluations can be done. Many tasks can be run parallel because this project covers a number of topics. But this requires an intensive and professional project management which can be guaranteed by the applicant and the Scheff GmbH.
As a result a complete logistic concept is expected with a recommendation for feasible sites of implement together with reference of possible risks as well as critical factors of success for the implement. The processing of the actual technically and economically available amount of energy wood per district shall be compared with the current and future need of supply and thus forms a stable initial basis for the following implement of a demonstrative project. Considering the feasibility study and the market analyses could (regarding the results) one or even more product - and service job innovations be developed or implemented. By optimizing the flow of all goods, the establishment of additional jobs in rural regions is expected and a considerable improvement in the structure of supply with raw materials. Moreover it should decrease costs and energy of processing.
Dr. Christian Schnedl,
Waldverband Steiermark GmbH
DI Willibald Ehrenhöfer,
Project or cooperation partner
- Universität für Bodenkultur / Institut für Forsttechnik
- Scheff GmbH
- Österreichischer Biomasseverband
- Regionalenergie Steiermark
- Maschinenring Steiermark
- Bio-Fernwärmeversorgungsgenossenschaft Dachstein-Tauern
- Fernwärme Weiz GmbH
Waldverband Steiermark GmbH