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Efficient Use of Biomass

Position paper of the BUND Rheinland-Pfalz as decided at the State Assembly in Lambrecht on April 12, 2008.

The Basics:

In the category of renewable energy, biomass is increasing in importance. BUND Rheinland-Pfalz sees the use of biomass (renewable raw-materials and residual biomass) as comparatively positive. The basis of this stance is the drastic energy savings, up to 50%.
The current and anticipated climate changes require immediate action. Numerous studies show that long-term energy savings between 80-90% in industrialized nations are both possible and necessary to confront the global problem of climate change effectively.


The efficient use of energy incorporates the entire life cycle; from cultivation to processing, transport and utilization and recycling and reuse.

The BUND considers the following criteria as prerequisites to the effective use of biomass:

  • No products intended as food to feed the population are used
  • The overall energy balance remains positive
  • In order to minimize environmental impacts, the administration is subject to   the requirements of the Eco-Agriculture and Eco-Forest Management offices.
  • No conservation areas are used
  • The legally and politically defined goals of nature conservation are maintained.
  • Minimum environmental, water and nature protection criteria are respected
  • No genetically modified plants are grown or used

Optimal Use:

  • Ecological importance placed on recycling
  • Reduced pollution in all areas (production to utilization), also applies to particulate matter
  • Short transport distances observed
  • Economically feasible practices are used
  • Priority given to the efficient conversion of biomass to be used in electric-heat combined power (CHP). As well as, the discontinuation of large power plants due to poor efficiency (40%) and the use of small decentralized plants with higher efficiency rates that use cogeneration of biomass power from wood or biogas supplements that are produced locally.
  • The use of residual biomass (compost material, animal waste, food waste, manure, solid manure, sewage sludge, etc…) should not be used prior to the use of other renewable resources
  • The use of untreated wood should be given top priority
  • So-called energy crops, fast organically grown grass/ reed species with a high carbon dioxide binding capacity and a large biomass should take second priority. However, the intense cultivation of these species leading to the expansion of agriculture is not acceptable.
  • Oil plants (rapeseed, sunflower, flax, linseed, amaranth, etc…) should all be considered as possible energy sources
  • Use of vegetable oil is only possible for export-preferred countries, and only for their own use under sustainable practices. Clearing of forests for energy crop cultivation purposes is not acceptable. Environmental and social standards must be met.
  • Vegetable oil use must be done in a natural manner. The refining process on an industrial scale for use in conventional engine technology (biodiesel or BTL) is unnecessarily energy-intensive and opposed to the decentralization of economic structures. There are over 400 plant species with oily components, which can be grown organically and locally. The resulting products can be used in animal feed, food production and energy applications.
  • Decentralized biogas plants are preferred
  • The use of stationary power plants is preferable because of higher efficiency related to transport. The development and operation of fuel-efficient vehicles must be given priority over the use of bio-fuels.
  • Conversion of biogas into natural gas is supported when used to increase overall efficiency.

BUND Rheinland-Pfalz
Hindenburgplatz 3
55118 Mainz, Germany
Tel: 049-06131-62706-0
Fax: 049-06131-62706-66,

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