HolzenergieCenter, Stadtwerke Hannover

Starting point and idea

Enercity Stadtwerke AG is the regional utility company in the Region of Hannover owned to a majority by public authorities including the City of Hannover and other surrounding communities. With a current staff of more than 2,700 and an annual turnover of more than € 110 million, the utility thus represents one of the largest public owned companies in Germany. For more than a decade, the utility has been committed to special services and financial support of renewable energies, energy efficiency and sustainable energy in the Hannover Region. In November 2007 the utility opened the HolzenergieCenter – a special logistic centre for pellets, wood chips and log wood for their customers in order to address the rising demand for biomass as energy fuel in the region. One of the key ideas of the project was to utilise the company’s own extensive wood plantations to market regionally harvested fuel, diversify the services of the utility company to include biomass and to create a sustainable supply chain for the growing customer group using wood as fuel. The HolzenergieCenter aims at selling 3,000 tonnes of log wood and 17,000 tonnes of wood chips annually harvested from own forests. In addition, high quality pellets are being sold in bags or as bulk commodity. Further wood related products such as tree torches or wood for bonfires are also sold.

Success through cooperation

The establishing of the wood energy centre was co-financed by the European support scheme CONCERTO in cooperation with the City of Hannover. The main operator of the centre is the utility company Enercity Stadtwerke Hannover AG itself.

How did/does it work?

The centre is located on the site of the conventional major coal power station in Hannover Stöcken. Here a modern log wood production machine was installed. The log woods from regional forests are being processed and dried instantly to guarantee a humidity of less than 20% by using heating surplus from the power station nearby. This process is unique within Germany. A broad variety of further wood fuels like pellets and wood chips are being offered to the customer either as bulk or bag commodity. A delivery service to regional households is included in the price for the fuels. In addition, customers are offered consultation and information services directly on site. The harvest of the log wood and wood chips is local and comes from the utility’s own estates, which are managed according to sustainability criteria. In case the demand exceeds the amount harvested in own woods, the additional surplus is bought from regional suppliers. If the total amount of annual supplies is sold, the HolzenergieCentre could theoretically provide 9% of heating demand for single and double-family houses in Hannover.

Achievements

The centre has only been in operation for a year and the final construction phase on a storage house for wood is about to be finished. Generally, the acceptance of the services has been good, despite the fact that the winter 2007/2008 was very mild in the region. In addition to developing the core business of selling solid biomass, the Centre has been very successful in achieving publicity through public inauguration, lectures, exhibitions, consultations and an open door day and guided tours.

Applicability

There were several favourable conditions to implementing the HolzenergieCenter – start-up financing from the support scheme CONCERTO as well as the fact that the utility company itself owns and maintains larger forests. However, the key precondition is to convince a regional utility of the necessity of diversifying services to include solid biomass as fuel for their customers. Then, cooperation with regional wood fuel producers should not be problem. In Hannover, pellets are also not produced on site, but are distributed in cooperation with regular suppliers.

Contact

enercity® HolzenergieCenter
Ulrich Kohlstrung
Stelinger Straße  19
30419  Hannover
+49 51 14 30 38 83
holzenergie(at)enercity.de

 

Achievements

  • Regional utility supplies biomass to customers
  • Fuel is harvested from company-owned forests
  • Good acceptance of services
  • Successful publicity via lectures, exhibitions, open doors

Downloads

kohlstrung_stadtwerke_hannover_ag.pdf

Presentation in German from HolzenergieCenter management


Success Story provided by REGBIE+ partner


Download