Perspectives for Bioenergy Villages

Perspektiven BED: Innovative concepts and business models for bioenergy villages - climate friendly, democratic, and close to the people

Duration: February 2019 bis January 2022

Project coordination: University of Kassel, Chair for Energy Economics

Collaborators: University of Kassel, Chair for Solar and Systems Engineering, Georg-August-University Göttingen, Chair of Cartography, GIS and Remote Sensing Section

Commissioned by: Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture

Summary: The main goal of the project is to prepare the German bioenergy villages for the time period when the earnings based on the Renewable Energy Act will end after 20 years of a guaranteed electricity feed in tariff. In an interdisciplinary project team, processes which can be transferred to existing bioenergy villages will be developed as a kind of blue print and thus offer opportunities for a continuation of their business operations. The core area of the project is a catalogue of measures that are prepared in theory first and afterwards are evaluated in two real-life labs. The main focus of the measures is on the one hand to put into use residual materials and wastes, ecologically optimized crop growing and on the other hand the implementation of regional green electricity marketing, using regional markets for flexible electricity dispatch as well as combining bioenergy with additional renewable energy technologies.

Structure: At first, interdisciplinary research results and existing innovative concepts will be collected, analyzed and then transformed into a set of measures which is focused on the following areas:

  • Recycling: Increasing the share of farm manure, food production- and harvest residue as well as communal biomass. Integration of agricultural and communal stakeholders to establish delivery stations for reusable biomass with the aim to increase the degree of material utilization. This utilization can be either energetic (e.g. power, heat, fuel, Methane) or substance-based and should take place in a decentralized/regional environment. To achieve this, a network of regional partners needs to be established so to organize logistics and management of delivery, processing as well as marketing. Furthermore, options will be presented on how existing farming practices can be optimized ecologically and adapted to meet the challenges of climate change.

  • Regional marketing of renewable electricity: Establishing regional products of green energy to sell electricity produced from renewable sources by incorporating regional partners such as energy cooperatives, municipal utilities and other relevant corporations.

  • Marketing of electricity in regional flexibility-markets: Researching additional options to create revenue on the flexibility of the power generation from biogas plants by selling it via regional flexibility-markets.

  • Incorporation of additional technologies: Adjusting the existing heating networks to the changing technological framework by means of additional heat sources and storage systems.

These measures are prepared in theory first and afterwards evaluated within two real-life-labs. Then, with the help of an advisory board, the practicability of those measures will be analyzed. The first real-life-lab consist of the two bioenergy villages Wollbrandshausen and Krebeck which are connected through one conjoint biogas plant and several combined heat and power units. Over the course of the project a second real-life-lab will be chosen in order to review those measures which could not be applied in the first one but are considered significant for further development of bioenergy villages. An advisory board consisting of 20 bioenergy villages will be established and given the task to reflect on the results of the research and deliver suggestions on how to implement the measures in the real-life-labs.
After evaluation, a guideline and an interactive communication platform will be created, in order to distribute the research results and to interconnect relevant stakeholders.


Dr. Ines Wilkens 

Tel. (0561) 804 - 7949