EVENT – This is where it all began, a firewood cookstove a model we still produce today, said Bernhard Holzer from Windhager during the Energiesparmesse tradeshow. Bioenergy International No 78, 2-2015 53 WSED in fine form The annual World Sustainable Energy Days (WSED) in Wels, Austria proved both an entertaining as well as an informative rendez-vous. And as home turf for many Austrian boiler producers a premieré launch-pad. THIS YEAR’S EDITION WAS RELATIVELY WELL-ATTENDED WITH AROUND 600 PLUS PARTICIPANTS and as ever the difficulty arises once it comes to the breakout sessions. Choice, technology or market. In all honesty it didn’t matter that much, the plenary sessions covered a lot of ground and many of the technology suppliers had stands at the exhibition. A seemingly quite remarkable statement which certainly took the delegates by surprise was delivered by Martin Bentele, DEPV when discussing generic marketing initiatives such as the UK’s Back Biomass or Aebiom’s recently launched Biomass Counts. Bentele suggested that the (German) pellet industry was working to distance itself from using the word biomass or bioenergy with pellets and heating. – It’s a branding issue, we do not want to be associated with words like biomass, biofuels and bioenergy. The first two are just plain trouble and the last nobody seems to understand. We have a good thing going with just pellets and like to keep it that way, he said. Bentele does have a point, as unlike other renewables biomass for energy is so multifaceted and pellets for heat are just one aspect. Chinese biomass resources Although a European pellet conference Dou Kejun, China National Renewable Energy Resource Center (CNREC), presented some of the situation for biomass and emerging trends in China. In 2013 biomass accounted for just 0.9 percent of total energy. However even small numbers in China tend to be big, an estimated 33 million tce (tonnes coal equivalents, a telling metric used by Kejun throughout his presentation) of biomass was consumed. 9 percent of the 33 million tce of biomass consumed was as pellets and briquettes – Pellet fuel production 2013 was 6 million tonnes, said Kejun, adding that this figure included pellets from agricultural residues such as straw as well as wood. According to Kejun the long-term plan for China is to increase biomass utilization tenfold to 340 million tce by 2050 or just over half the estimated 600 million tce potential. MIB - Mann Ist Bereit Not a Rammstein title track nor the movie(s) but a sampled version of the latter and one of several very witty (loosely translated Mann ”the name” or ”one” is prepared) and clever examples of a ”marketainment” communication strategies by a pellet producer. Markus Mann, Westerwälder Holz Pellets, third generation sawmill owner and first generation pellet producer gave a truly inspirational insight to creative out of the box thinking, marketing and promotion based on consumer behaviour and how this can really drive sales, brand awareness and loyalty. Another is a fill it yourself service, a 30 tonne silo complete with metering dispenser connected to credit card payment system just as you would expect to when refuelling your transportation. Minimum delivery a bucket of pellets. Text & photos: Alan Sherrard BI78/44786/AS A “neuheit” trend seemed to be the combination of firewood and pellets in the same appliance. Here Christian Siessl from Gilles Energie- & Umwelttechnik GmbH & Co KG. (Left) Tim Knoop, Viridis Energy; Gregor Rinke, Seeger Engineering; Christiane Egger, ÖO Energiesparverband; Gordon Murray, WPAC; Gilles Gauthier, AEBIOM and James Griffiths, SFI in a jovial panel discussion on how to make pellets more competitive as a renewable heat alternative.
Bioenergy no 2 - March 2015
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