Industry associations and the German Biomass Research Centre (DBFZ) invited to the 2nd Future Workshop in Leipzig – the focus was on innovations to reduce emissions

Decreasing particulate matter pollution, challenging standards and growing awareness in the stove industry contrast with a massive negative image of heat from wood. This situation is not only unsatisfactory for industry and politics, those who should benefit in the end suffer most from it: the people in Germany.

The heat from the renewable and CO2-neutral raw material wood is an important component of a realistically feasible decarbonisation. For this reason, the industry met for an exchange in Leipzig from 15 to 16 January 2020. Host Dr. Ingo Hartmann from the German Biomass Research Centre (DBFZ) called it no coincidence that this future workshop was the first official event in the new premises of the Biomass Research Centre. He also sees it as a symbol of the clear commitment of the research institution, which is supported by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, among others, to the ecologically sustainable heat from wood.

The aim of the workshop was to develop a joint cross-sectoral research proposal for efficient and market-driven emission reduction. “Previous evaluations, reports and expertises always suffered from the fact that only a small part of the performance capability of our industry was shown,” said Dr. Johannes R. Gerstner, Managing Director of the European Fireplaces Association. For example, storage fireplaces have not been sufficiently included in the research.

The workshop was based on a roadmap for the climate goals of our society. Based on a stocktaking of our current situation, technical innovations should be outlined until 2030, and then finally look into a further future with 2050. A central result of the workshop was quickly established: The goal must be to present the technology in its full breadth and performance and to show the contribution to the long-term achievement of the climate goals Only through the hitherto unique unity of industry associations, the craft trades and research can realistic goals and thus offers to society be created.

What is the next step? As early as March 2020, a research proposal will be submitted to the Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR), which is pursuing a long-awaited holistic approach from industry, the skilled trades, chimney and fireplace. The ambitious goal is not only the research and testing of low-emission fireplaces, the evaluation of effective and sensible emission reduction measures, but also the growing networking and positive communication about the future technology in the industry.


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