Renewable energy in the tri-border region Germany - Poland - the Czech Republic

As part of the project called BioEnergyNet – the Network for Biomass and Renewable Energy in the Tri-Border Region, the Steinbeis Consulting Center (SCC) Dreiländereck Neiße has helped build an active and broad network of key players, many of them energy producers. Studies on the potential of biomass as well as the advantages of using renewable energy over the long term have revealed new findings and given the movement fresh momentum. By working with the University of Applied Sciences in Zittau/Görlitz and the International Graduate School in Zittau, the SCC has laid the cornerstone for promoting development and economic growth throughout the region.

Aside from BioEnergyNet, a host of other projects such as RegioSustain as well as a number of studies have yielded a treasure trove of findings on biomass and renewable energy. The BioEnergyNet project pooled the information and is now organizing it. The next step: use that information on the region’s biomass potential to create a decentralized energy supply for industrial areas and new residential developments.

Another study entitled, “Waste Materials to be Incorporated into Reusable Materials for Regional Material Flow Management,” is in the pipeline. End-to-end material flow management aims to capture two things: a) every material flow in the region that is tied to the use of the material and energy contained in agricultural and silvicultural biomass and b) recyclable materials – in other words, all kinds of waste materials. The study is being conducted by the district of Löbau-Zittau, the Sächsische Energieagentur and the German Centre for Biomass Research. The district’s council on economic development as well as the SCC Dreiländereck Neiße have also pitched in with an “energy strategy for the district” to be implemented starting in 2008. In doing so, the district’s key players are also taking part in the nationwide “Bioenergy Regions” competition.

The BioEnergyNet project and its initiatives have borne fruit with the founding of a “Coordination Centre for Biomass and Renewable Energy”. This cross-border agency bridges the gap between energy production and economic development. The SCC was chosen as a sponsor due to its activities in managing energy, raw materials and partnerships. Other criteria: the Center’s cross-border emphasis on Eastern Saxony and Northern Bohemia as well as its existing dual-country sponsorships. Experts are busy at the German and Czech project sites. The next step: getting involved with the “Wood and Forestry in Saxony” cluster.

BioEnergyNet casts its net much further than other projects – namely, towards the biomass and renewable energy for and from Northern Bohemia and the entire Lusatia area. The goal is ambitious: an interactive “energy atlas” for the region, one which has recorded data such as the potential, the producers and the energy plants and presents that information in a visually appealing yet easy-to-understand way. This instrument will benefit investment managers, optimize logistics and smooth central communications. Schools and the tourism industry can also use this tool as an “energy educational trail”.

The SCC hopes that end-to-end material flow management will act as the perfect entryway to making the best use of biomass for energy or material purposes. The Center is ready to go public and break new ground with project work – and begin earning a reputation as a center of excellence.

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