Waldreichtum in Österreich modernste Biomassetechnologie für den WeltmarktBiomass for the world market (© dieindustrie.at)

Austria is an innovation leader in biomass boilers

Austria is regarded as a land of forests and a land of innovative biomass technologies: 4 billion hectares are covered by forests, almost 50% of the federal area. Almost 50% of the domestic energy consumption of renewable energy sources is based on wood raw materials. The production of district heating from biomass has tripled over the past ten years. More than 20% of all heating systems in Austria are based on biomass (wood). Two out of three biomass boilers in focus markets such as Germany are produced in Austria. Austria is thus the leader in innovation for biomass boilers.

 Die Marktentwicklung von Biomassekesseln in Österreich bis 2015 aus Studie Innovative Energietechnologien in Österreich Marktentwicklung 2015, BMVIT (©Landwirtschaftskammer Österreich 2016)

27 Austrian pellet producers have established a production capacity of 1.49 mt / a to ensure supply. In 2015, about 14.5 PJ (850,000 t) pellets were consumed and biogenic fuels saved around 9.2 million t CO2 equivalent. The biofuels industry generated a total turnover of 1.305 billion euros in 2014, which corresponds to an employment effect of 12,067 full-time jobs in the sector.

In the year 2015 sold 5,669 pellets boilers, 3,453 type-tested logs, 763 wood pellets combined kettles, 2,308 woodchip boilers, 1,967 pellet stoves, 5,861 stoves and 10,016 stoves were sold in Austria. As a result the biomass boilers and ovens market, generated sales of EUR 739 million in 2015, which resulted in an employment effect of 3,378 jobs. (Source: Innovative Energy Technologies in Austria, Market Development 2015, BMVIT).

The increase in sales has not led to an increase in emissions; on the contrary, a decrease in fine dust emissions from small combustion plants can be observed. Modern biomass firing systems produce only a fraction of the emissions of old solid fuel firing systems. This is the result of an optimization of the quality of wood burning, primarily by Austrian manufacturers of furnaces and boilers. In addition to the emissions, the efficiency of the plants could also be significantly improved. Since the turn of the century, biomass boilers

with an efficiency of more than 90 percent are standard.

Austria's biomass boiler manufacturers now sell 75% of their products abroad. Two out of three biomass boilers in Germany are produced in Austria. Austria also plays a leading role in the construction of pellet production plants on the world market. The largest pelleting plant in the world, based in Russia,was planned and built in 2010 by an Austrian company. The construction of the largest plant in North America in 2011 was also carried out by an Austrian company.