Environmental protection is highly accepted in Germany, starting with the recycling movement in the 1980ies and founding its climax in the second nuclear phase-out coming into law in 2011 after the disaster of Fukushima fallout. Therefore, Germans are keen to overcome fossil energy: 80 % of the population thinks that use and development of renewable energy is very important.
Since pellet heating systems were first sold in Germany more than ten years ago, the demand and the supply has increased steadily. The annual growth rate for pellet boilers installed was between 12 and 58 percent. The turn towards renewable heating is supported by federal and local government which offer various programmes for financial support and facilitation. The MAP-programme pays at least 2.000 EUR, when a fossil boiler is replaced by a pellet boiler. Also credits at reduced rates of interests are granted to house owners. Moreover, federal states offer various programmes for renewable heating. Wood pellets are taxed with only 7 % VAT instead of 19 %.
But as media and politics focus on electricity instead of heating, development in the sector of efficient renewable heating systems has not sped up yet to the numbers necessary for CO2-reduction plans. Most systems used for solid biomass heating are classic single stoves and open fireplaces where energy is not used efficiently. Moreover, many central heating systems are technically not up-to-date anymore and should be replaced. But to the necessary replacement quota of 5 % is not reached yet. Still, there’s a broad acceptance for the use of solid biomass for production of energy in Germany. More than 50 Mio. m3 wood is used energetically for electricity and heating purposes annually. Out of all renewables used for heating wood adds up to 70 % (wood chips, wood pellets, firewood etc.). Over 14 Mio. single heating devices need more than 24 Mio. m3 firewood. Therefore, wood is quite important for renewable energies in Germany. As the German government’s aim ist o raise the amount of renewable energy used for heating from 9 % in 2010 up to 14 % in 2020, a further development of energy wood is necessary.

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